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Umtozmty of iSottl) Carolina 









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• ■ 







LOSDON : Nov. 6, 1863. 




Introduction . page 1 



My Arrest — Lincoln's Arrival — Scotcli Cap and Cloak — His 
Election an Invasion of Southern Rights — Order for the 
Advance of the Grand Army into Virginia — Its Departure 
— Battle of Manassas — Defeat and Rout — Its Return to 
Washington — Demoralisation — Quarrels between Executive, 
Legislative and Military — Panic . . . . 11 



Attack upon the Prisoners — United States Troops obliged to 

. protect them — My Visit to the Prison — Mr. Commissioner 

Wood — Charles Sumner — Dismemberment of Virginia — 

Admission of Senators — Reign of Terror — Determination to 

remove Scott — Elevation of M'Clellan ... 25 




My Arrest — Search and Occupation of my House — Examination 
of my Papers — Miss Mackall — Mr. Calhoun — Destruction 
of my Cipher — Female Detective — Search of my Person — 
Resolution to fire the House — Arrest of Casual Visitors — 
Inebriation of the Guard — Outrage — Tactics of my Gaolers 
— Andrew J. Porter ..... page 52 



Abolition Effort to poison President Buchanan — Destruction of 
my Papers — Reward for my Cipher — Intercepting Des- 
patches — Mr. Seward — Personal Danger — Mr. Davis — 
Effort to bribe me — General Butler — Yankee Publications 

— Other Prisoners — Spoliation — Detective Police give 
place to Military Guards — Miss Mackall — Illness of my 
Child — Dr. Stewart — Prison Life — The Spy Applegate 

— Mr. Stanton — Judge Black and R. J. Walker — Foul 
Outrage — Yankee Policy — Petty Annoyances . 73 



The Great Armada — My Anxiety — Its Destination revealed by 
Seward — Information sent to Richmond — Dr. Gwin — 
Equinoctial Gales — Proposition to escape — Insult to 
Ministers of the Gospel — Query of Provost-Marshal-— The 
Mother of Jackson — The First Victim of the War of Ag- 
gression — Visit from Members of my Family — Colonel 
Ins;olls — Letter to Mr. Seward .... 108 





Abolition Difficulties — M'Clellan — Scott — Fremont brought 
forward — F. P. Blair — Reviews and Sham Battles — 
Seward's Policy — Destruction of Civil Rights — Armed 
Occupation of Maryland — Elections at the Point of the 
Bayonet — Despotism in Baltimore — My own Lot — Miss 
Mackall's Visit to Lincoln and Porter — Her Illness and De- 
sire to see me — Application to Lincoln — His Refusal — 
Death of Miss Mackall — My own Illness — Dr. M'Millen 
— Peculations of Cameron — Sent to Russia — Congressional 
Committee page 125 



Fremont — Fremont Pere — His Education — His Marriage — 
Career in California — His Trial — Dismissal from the U. S. 
Army — Senator for California — Retirement to Private 
Life — Appearance as Candidate for President — The Marri- 
posa — Financial Schemes — Defeat for President — Relapse — 
Reappearance — Charges against him — Mrs. Fremont and 
F. P. Blair — Removal as Chief of the Army of the 
West — Halleck — Myself— Trials — M'Clellan — Public 
Archives ........ 141 



Petty Annoyances — My Letters objected to — My Protest — 
' New York Herald ' — Judge-Advocate Key — What he said 
— Christmas-day — Warning — Other Prisoners — Comic 
Scenes — Detective Police — Severe Ordeal — Seizure of 
my Journal, &c. — Writing Materials prohibited by Order of 
General Porter . . . . . . . 161 




My second Letter to Seward — Our Commissioners — At my own 
House — Seward's Sketch of John Brown — On Arts — 
Seward's Reveries — Bribery and Corruption . page 179 



Stanton in Power — Mr. Buchanan — Ordinances — ' New York 
Herald' — M'Clellan's Humility — Ministerial Assumption 
— Financiering of Secretary Chase — New York Brokers 
and Bankers — Mrs. Lincoln — . Her Shopping Toilette — My 
Removal to the Old Capitol Prison — Lieutenant Sheldon — 
Newspaper Correspondents — Mr. Calhoun's Opinions — My 
Cell — Dr. Stewart again — Extracts from Journal kept in 
the Old Capitol — Nuisance — My Protest — My Child — 
Disgusting Sights — Protest . . . . . 195 



Congressional Committee — Dame Rumour and Mrs. Lincoln — 
'Herald' on Mrs. Lincoln —M'Clellan — Policy of Ad- 
ministration towards him — Chance Prophecy — My Yankee 
Visitors — Abolition Policy, &c. — Southern Chivalry — 
' Richmond Examiner ' — President Davis — ' On to Rich- 
mond,' 3rd — Estimate of our Forces — Expenditure — 
Pressure of Public Opinion — Reinforcements — Festive 
Scenes — Ball at the White House — Mrs. Lincoln's Toilette 
— General Magruder — M'Clellan's Ideas — Policy of the 
Government — Evacuation of Yorktown by Johnson — 
President Davis's Coachman, and what he said — Northern 
Credulity and Venality ... . . 225 




Illness of my Child — Application for Medical Attendance — Dr. 
Stewart — Protest against his Insolence — General Johnson 

— Change of Programme — Homesteads in the South — 
Senator Wilson — Stanton's Order, &c. — My Letter an- 
nouncing it — Police-court — Letter to Stanton — General 
Wordsworth — His Order — Vexations and Annoyances — 
The Officers of the Guard — Extraordinary Drive — General 
Commotion ....... page 243 



Visit of United States Commissioners — Their Objects — Con- 
versation — My Child — General Dix — Insolence of Dr. 
Stewart — Rebuke to him — Stanton's Policy — Cause of 
his Appointment — His Political Programme — Lincoln and 
Abolition of Slavery — Demoniacal Intentions — Appearance 
before the Commissioners — Picture of Desolation — Sketch 
of Commissioners — The Object of the Commission — 
Gentlemanly Conduct of the Commissioners — Letter to 
Mrs. S. A. Douglas in answer to hers — Anxieties — Letter to 
General Wordsworth — Murder of Lieutenant Wharton — 
Letter to General Wordsworth .... 260 



Visit of Hon. Mr. Ely — Cause of my Detention — New York 
Paper — Application to visit me refused — Tedium of Prison 
Life — The Guard — The Female Prisoners — Captain Higgins 

— My Child's Health — Dr. Miller — Federal Officers 


CHAPTER XV.— ■continued. 

— Ex-Governor Morton — Correspondence — Anxieties 

— Fate of New Orleans— Order No. 28 of General Butler — 
Caleb Cushing — Senator Bayard — Fate of Norfolk — 
Murder of Stewart — Examination — Yankee Panic — Sena- 
torial Committee — Disagreeable Rumours — Correspond- 
ence with Wood relative to my Papers — Gloom — Cheering 
News — Announcement of Departure for the South — Arrival 
in Baltimore — Kind Friends — General Dix — En Route 

— Arrival in Richmond — The President — Aspect of 
Richmond ....... PAGE 288 



The American Revolution — Slavery not the Cause of it — Po- 
litical Supremacy — Ex-President Fillmore's, Daniel Web- 
ster's, Lord John Russell's, and R. J. Walker's Opinions 
on the Subject — Non-intervention the best Policy, &c. 325 



AjSTD the 





Whether a faithful record of my long and humiliat- 
ing imprisonment at Washington, in the hands of the 
enemies of my country, will prove as interesting to 
the public as my friends assure me it is to them, I 
know not. It is natural for those who have suffered 
captivity to exaggerate the importance and interest 
of their own experiences ; yet I should not venture 
upon publishing these notes and sketches merely as 
a narrative of indignities heaped upon myself per- 
sonally. It is hoped that the story may excite more 
than a simple feeling of indignation or commisera- 
tion, by exhibiting somewhat of the intolerant spirit 
in which the present crusade against the liberties of 
sovereign States was undertaken, and somewhat of the 
true character of that race of people who insist on 



compelling us by force to live with them in bonds 
of fellowship and union. 

I had been long a resident of Washington 
before the secession of the Confederate States, and, 
from my intimate acquaintance with public men 
and public measures under the old government, had 
peculiar and exceptional means of watching the 
progressive development of the designs of these 
leaders of opinion in the Federal States, which, as I 
had long foreseen, would necessarily end in forcing 
on a separation. 

Much of my information upon this subject had 
been derived from the intercourse of society in 
the Federal capital ; and would therefore have been 
unsuitable to be made public, if the relations of 
the North and the South had continued as they 
used to be — subjects of political discussion and 
party contest. But the Federal leaders have now 
carried the matter far beyond this point. After 
repeated and intolerable aggression upon the rights 
of these States — accompanied and aggravated by an 
insulting tone of moral superiority, until a union 
with such communities was no longer to be endured 
by any high-spirited people — they at length stirred 
up a furious and desolating war. For two years a 
torrent of blood has flowed between their people 


and my people. The noble State of Virginia, with 
which I am most nearly connected, has been devas- 
tated by hosts of barbarous invaders — always 
overthrown indeed in the field before Southern 
valour, but always destroying and plundering where 
they found the country unprotected ; whilst my 
own dear native State of Maryland has been subject 
to a still more stinging and maddening oppression, 
in the utter destruction of all her liberties, and in 
the establishment of a brutal and vulgar military 
despotism, which has reduced the gallant old State 
to the debased condition of Poland or Yenetia ; 
and such ' order reigns in Baltimore,' as that moral 
death which tyrants call ' order ' in Warsaw or 
n the beautiful City of the Sea. 

To me, therefore, the days of my former abode in 
Washington seem to belong almost to another state 
)f being. That time — when I, in common with all 
)ur people, looked up with pride and veneration to 
he banner of the stars and stripes — appears to be 
low with the years before the Flood. I look back 
o the scenes of that period through a haze of blood 
unci horror. Those men whom I once called friends — 
vho have broken bread at my table — have since then 
tirred up and hounded on host after host of greedy 
avaders, and precipitated them upon the beloved 



valleys where my kindred had their peaceful homes 
Many who were dear to me have been slain, or 
maimed for life, fighting in defence of all that makes 
life of value. Instead of friends, I see in those 
statesmen of Washington only mortal enemies. 
Instead of loving and worshipping the old flag of the 
stars and stripes, I see in it only the symbol of 
murder, plunder, oppression, and shame ! and, like 
every other faithful Confederate, I dwell with delight 
on the many glorious fields where this dishonoured 
standard has gone down before the stainless battle- 
flag of the Confederacy. 

In short, two years of terrible war, equivalent to 
an age of quiet life, have passed through the ex- 
istence of us all, leaving a deep and ineffaceable 
track. Between us and those former friends there is 
a gulf deep and wide as eternity ; and under these 
circumstances I have felt myself at liberty to be 
much more unreserved in the narrative of my per- 
sonal recollections : suppressing, in fact, nothing which 
I thought would be either interesting or useful to 
my Confederate countrymen — except only when 
reserve was dictated by self-respect, or by the duty 
of avoiding disclosures which mi^ht compromise the 
safety of certain Federal officers, whom I induced 
without scruple, as will be more fully seen in the 


following pages, to furnish me with information, 
even in my captivity, which information I at once 
^communicated with pride and pleasure to General 
Beauregard, then commanding the Confederate 
forces near Washington. Whatever may be thought 
of the conduct of these Federal officers in betraying 
ito an avowed enemy secrets material to their own 
'Government, it will readily be admitted that after 
ihaving made this use of them I should not have been 
trustified in naming them, or affording a clue by 
which they could be discovered. 

If, in detailing conversations which passed either 
'with me or in my presence, before or after my 
arrrest, I may be thought to have exhibited too great 
'bitterness, it is hoped that the circumstances under 
; which I found n^self may plead my excuse. It 
will be seen that I was well aware from an early 
'period of the dark designs of the Abolition leaders 
■at Washington, and that while they were holding 
publicly the language of patriotic zeal for the con- 
stitution and the law, they were already meditating, 
and preparing, all the dreadful scenes of lawless out- 
rage and spoliation which have since that time 
rendered their names odious to the whole world. 
J[t was well known to me what fate they were re- 
serving for my own native State, and what diabolical 


agencies they were setting to work over all the 
country, both to destroy the Confederate States and 
to crush out the liberties of the North. The chief 
projectors of all these horrors, too, were well aware 
that I knew their plans and machinations intimately ; 
and that, weak woman as I was, I. possessed both 
the means and the spirit to throw serious obstacles 
in their way. Hence the keen and jealous surveil- 
lance by which my every motion was observed and 
noted, even long before my arrest. Hence, also, 
the useless series of torments and provocations to 
which I was subjected — the changes in my place of 
imprisonment, and the many attempts to entrap me 
into a betrayal of myself or the Confederate cause. 
Hence the long and wearisome captivity, to break 
my spirit, or goad me into undignified bursts of 
indignation — in all of which I trust I may flatter 
myself that they signally failed. Satisfied thoroughly 
of the justice and sacreclness of our great cause, and 
thinking only of the gallant struggle into which my 
kindred had thrown themselves, I was enabled, not 
only to ' possess my own soul ' and keep my own 
; counsel, but also to establish and maintain a con- 
tinuous correspondence with Virginia, and reveal 
certain contemplated military movements of the 
enemy in time to have ; them thwarted by our 


generals. For this I clo not desire to take any special 
I credit in the eyes of the public. I only performed my 
Iduty, and have already been gratified by the thanks 
sof those who best can judge of the services which I 
; endeavoured to render ; and the matter is mentioned 
ihere merely as one of the reasons why it has been 
-thought that a narrative furnished by one who en- 
joyed such opportunities of observation may be 
I found not uninteresting. 

It may be that the language which was sometimes 
'extorted from me in conversation, or some of the 
remarks now found in my book, are more bitterly 
'vituperative and sarcastic, than in ordinary times, 
•'and upon ordinary subjects, would be becoming in 
i'the personal narrative of a woman. Those who may 
3 think so are only entreated, before they judge, to 
'endeavour to imagine themselves in my position — 
subject to the stinging indignities of a Washington 
prison, having to encounter sometimes the vicious 
taunts of vulgar guards, sometimes the treacherous 
warnings or counsels of politicians pretending to be 
my friends ; a little daughter, too, always before 
my eyes, torn from the peaceful delights of home, 
and the flowery path of girlhood, and forced to 
witness the hard realities of prison-life, and hear the 
'keys grating in dungeon locks. ISTo wonder if my 


nature grew harsh and more vindictive, and if the 
scorn and wrath that was in my heart sometimes 
found vent by tongue or pen. 

It was, above all things, when I thought of my 
own State of Maryland — where sleep the manes of 
my ancestors — that I burned with indignation in my 
prison. While the great State of Virginia, with her 
strong river frontier of the Potomac, was enabled to 
bid defiance to the utmost efforts of her enemies, 
it soon became evident that Maryland, penetrated by 
great bays and rivers, and with her very heart 
opened up to the naval forces of the enemy, would 
be, for the present at least, overpowered, and pre- 
vented from casting her lot openly and decisively 
with her sister States. I knew also that every genuine 
child of Maryland cherished in their souls but one 
feeling — one burning desire to share the destiny 
of their section, and to perish, if need be, in the 
glorious struggle ; and could well imagine how so 
proud and refined a people would suffer and chafe 
to see themselves treated as vassals and serfs by a 
race they have always despised. 

Yet the men were not so deeply to be pitied. 
They had always at least the resource of flinging 
themselves across the border, joining the Confederate 
service, and thus either opening a way to the re- 


demption of their country, -or at any rate meeting 
her oppressors on many a battle-field, and wreaking 
i a righteous vengeance upon their heads. But the 
women of Maryland — the far-famed, delicately- 
nurtured, and universally-courted ladies of that fair 
State — they, whose slightest notice in days gone by 
was so dearly prized by Northern men — they, so 
essentially Southern in taste, and style, and associa- 
tion — to see their country ruled by hordes of the 
despised Yankees, and their haughty city tamed and 
cowering under the insolent sway of the coarsest of 
i all human creatures ! — to know that ' the tinkling 
of that little belV at the State Department could 
tear the maiden from her mother's arms, to be 
dragged to the pollution of a Yankee prison ! 
The thought was often almost maddening ; and it 
may well be that my profound sympathy with my 
people has coloured with a deeper tinge of gloom 
jny views of the whole field of action. 

At all events, I have endeavoured in this sketch 
of my captivity to discharge a great duty. That duty 
was to contribute what I myself have seen and 
known of the history of the time. If the exposure 
therein made of the Yankee character, in the first 
year of its luxuriant and rampant development 
(after long compression in a condition of inferiority), 


shall add to the feeling of execration for such a rac<j 
of people, and deepen the universal gratitude at th 
happy change which has severed us from them, ant 
made it still more and more impossible that we cai 
ever submit to any kind of political association witl 
them again, then my poor narrative will not have 
been written in vain. 








On Friday, August 2 3rd, in Washington City — the 
metropolis of this once free and. happy land, the 
proud boast of which was that life, liberty, and 
property were protected by the law — I was made a 
prisoner in my own house, and subjected to an 
ordeal which must have been copied from the days 
of the Directory in France. 

My blood boils when I think of it. But, for the 
benefit of all who may feel an interest in the subject, 
I will give a circumstantial account of an act which 
should shed renown upon the distinguished authors 
of it. 

It is necessary for my purpose to make a brief 



resume of the incidents of the few months preceding. 
I might even go back to the advent of the Scotch cap 
and cloak, but will content myself with an event 
quite as remarkable in the reign of the Abolition 
'Irrepressible conflict chief,' whose shadow now 
darkens the chair of Washington. 

As the allusion to the 'Scotch cap and cloak' 
may not be generally understood, I deem it advisable 
to furnish information on that head, as a means of 
explaining the modus operandi by which the Aboli- 
tion leader entered the national Capitol. 

He had been elected President by a strictly sec 
tional majority, not having received one vote in the 
States south of Mason and Dixon's line — the great 
geographical line dividing North and South — arriving 
thereby at the very point in our political destiny 
which Washington, in his ' farewell address,' had 
foreshadowed as a cause for the dissolution of 
the Union. 

During the heated sectional contest which resulted 
in the election of Mr. Lincoln by the Abolition 
party, they openly proclaimed ' the higher law doc- 
trine,' and announced their determination, regardless 
of constitutional guarantees, to deprive the South of 
her sovereign equal rights, and to reduce her to a 
state of vassalage ; for a feeling of bitter jealousy 


had been festering and strengthening in the Northern 
mind against her, on account of the superior states- 
manship and intellect, which had always given her 
preeminence in the councils of the nation, and in the 
legislative assemblies. 

In order to carry into effect this hostile determi- 
nation to destroy the political importance of the 
South, they had seized upon what they conceived to 
be the vulnerable point in our domestic institution 
— well knowing that they could enlist the fanatical 

i aid and sympathy of those who were ignorant, 
save theoretically, of that institution, and of the 
benign and paternal manner in which it was con- 
ducted in the South ; having in view no object 
themselves of ameliorating; the condition of the 
servile class, but to exterminate or drive them out, 
in order that their own pauper population might 
secure to themselves the superior advantages which 
were everywhere in the South monopolised by the 
slave population. 

Denunciations were levelled against us by the 
poorer classes of the North as ' a pampered aris- 
tocracy,' for the reason they gave ' that a poor white 

1 man at the South ivas not as good as a negro.' 
And the negroes, I must confess, always arrogated 
to themselves this social superiority, for the bitterest 


insult they could offer each other was, ' You are 
no better than a poor white Yankee t ' 

The Abolition party were not, however, prepared 
for the firm and dignified bearing of the South, 
at the result of an election strictly sectional and 
avowedly subversive of the Constitution ; and they 
believed, according to their own established pre- 
cedent, that mob law would take the matter in 
hand, and summarily dispose of the candidate elect, 
or prevent his inauguration. 

Excited and absurd discussions and plans were 
made at Washington and other places as to the 
means by which he should reach the capital. Lincoln 
had, however, formed a plan of his own, and, having 
far more reticence than had been ascribed to him 
by his partisans, executed it whilst these discussions 
were going on, and suddenly appeared at Washing- 
ton, at six o'clock in the morning, under the disguise 
of a 'Scotch cap and cloak,'' announcing himself 
with characteristic phraseology in the apartments of 
his sleeping Committee of Safety at Willard's Hotel 
with — ; Tlillo 1 Just look at me ! By jingo, my own 
clad would nt know me ! ' 

\ On the morning of the 16th of July, the Govern- 
ment papers at Washington announced that the 
' grand army ' was in motion, and I learned from a 


reliable source (having received a copy of the order 
to M'Dowell) that the order for a forward move- 
ment had gone forth. If earth did not tremble, 
surely there was great commotion amongst that 
class of the genus homo yclept military men. Officers 
and orderlies on horse were seen flying from place 
to place ; the tramp of armed men was heard on 
every side — martial music filled the air ; in short, a 
mighty host was marshalling, with all the ' pomp and 
circumstance of glorious war.' ' On to Eichmond ! ' 
was the war-cry. The heroes girded on their 
armour with the enthusiasm of the Crusaders of old, 
and vowed to flesh their maiden swords in the blood 
of Beauregard or Lee. And many a knight, in- 
spired by beauty's smiles, swore to lay at the feet of 
her he loved best the head of Jeff. Davis at least. 

Nothing, nothing was wanting to render the gor- 
geous pageant imposing. So, with drums beating 
and flying colours, and amidst the shower of flowers 
thrown by the hands of Yankee maidens, the grand 
army moved on to the land of Washington, of 
Jefferson, of Madison, and Monroe ; whilst the heart- 
stricken Southerners who remained, did not tear 
:heir hair and rend their garments, but prayed on 
;heir knees that the God of Battles would award the 
victory to the just cause. 

i6 on to Richmond! 

In fear and trembling they awaited the result — 
hoping, yet fearing to hope. Time seemed to move 
on leaden wings. Imagination sounded in their ears 
the booming camion, and many a time their hearts' 
died within them at the sickening delay. Few had 
the hope which filled my own soul, or shared in its 
exultant certainty of the result. At twelve o'clock 
on the morning of the 16th of July, I despatched a; 
( messenger to Manassas, who arrived there at eight 
o'clock that night. The answer received by me at 
mid-day on the 17th will tell the purport of my 
communication — 'Yours was received at eight o'clock 
at night. Let them come : we are ready for them. 
We rely upon you for precise information. Be par- 
ticular as to description and destination of forces, 
quantity of artillery, &c. (Signed) Tuos. Joedon", 
Adjt.-Gen.' On the 17th I despatched another missive 
\ to Manassas, for I had learned of the intention of 
the enemy to cut the Winchester railroad, so as to 
intercept Johnson, and prevent his reinforcing Beau- 
regard, who had comparatively but a small force 
under his command at Manassas. 

On the night of the 18th, news of a great victory 
by the Federal troops at Bull Eun reached Washing- 
ton. Throughout the length and breadth of the city 
it was cried. I heard it in New York on Saturday, 

on to Richmond! 17 

20th, where I had gone for the purpose of embark- 
ing a member of my family for California, on the 
: steamer of the 22 nd. The accounts were received with 
frantic rejoicings, and bets were freely taken in sup- 
port of Mr. Seward's wise saws — that the rebellion 
would be crushed out in thirty days. My heart told 
'me that the triumph was premature. Yet, my 
: God ! how miserable I was for the fate of my beloved 
1 country, which hung trembling in the balance ! 

My presentiments were more than justified by the 
'result. On Sunday (21st) the great battle of Manassas 
was fought, memorable in history as that of Culloden 
>or Waterloo, which ended in the total defeat and 
'rout of the entire ' Grand Army.' 

In the world's history such a sight was never wit- 
nessed : statesmen, senators, Congress-men, generals, 
and officers of every grade, soldiers, teamsters — all 
rushing in frantic flight, as if pursued by countless 
demons. For miles the country was thick with 
ambulances, accoutrements of war, &c. The actual 
scene beggars all description ; so I must in despair 
relinquish the effort to portray it. 

The news of the disastrous rout of the Yankee 

irmy was cried through the streets of New York on 

he 22nd. The whole city seemed paralysed by fear, 

l J ind I verily believe that a thousand men could have 




marched from the Central Park to the Battery with- 
out resistance, for their depression now was commen- 
surate with the wild exultation of a few days before. 

On the afternoon of that day I left New York for 
Washington, where I arrived at six o'clock in the 
morning of the 23rd, in a most impatient mood. 
Even at that early hour friends were awaiting my 
arrival, anxious to recount the particulars of the 
glorious victory. A despatch was also received from 
Manassas by me — ' Our President and our General 
direct me to thank you. We rely upon you for fur- 
ther information. The Confederacy owes you a debt. 
(Signed) Jordon, Adjutant-General' My first im- 
pulse was to throw myself upon my knees and offer 
up my tearful thanks to the Father of Mercy for his 
signal protection in our hour of peril. 

During my journey from New York the craven 
fear of the Yankees was manifested everywhere. At 
Philadelphia most of the women got off. I was 
advised to do so by Lieutenant Wise, of U. S. A. 
(son-in-law of Edward Everitt), as he said, ' It was 
believed that the rebels of Baltimore would rise, in 
consequence of the rout of the Federal army.' I 
laughingly replied, ' I have no fears ; these rebels are 
of my faith. Besides, I fear, even now, I shall not be 
in time to welcome our President, Mr. Davis, and the 


glorious Beauregard.' He sneeringly replied, ' that I 

should probably see those gentlemen there in irons.' 

I received a scowl also from Mr. Winter Davis, who 
i was a passenger from New York, and had been loud- 
i mouthed and denunciatory against the South during 
j the journey. I observed, however, that he and 

Lieutenant Wise got off at Philadelphia, deeming 

' discretion the better part of valour.' 

A lame force was distributed throughout Balti- 

more, and it was even difficult to thread one's way to 
. the train on account of the military, who crowded the 
, streets and the depot. Thence to Washington seemed 
. as one vast camp, and on reaching the Capitol, the 
3 very carriage-way was blocked up by its panic-stricken 
g defenders, who started at the clank of their own 

muskets. After a hurried toilette and breakfast I went 
M up to the IT. S. Senate, where I saw the crest-fallen 
| leaders who, but a few days before, had vowed ' death 
| and damnation ' to our race. Several crowded round 
b ,1 me, and I could not help saying that, if they had not 
isi 'good blood,' they had certainly 'good bottom,' for 

they ran remarkably well. 

]] For days after the wildest disorder reigned in 

; the Capitol. The streets were filled with straggling 

: soldiers, each telling the doleful tale, and each 

p indulging in imaginary feats of valour, which Vould 

c 2 


throw into the shade the achievements of Coenr 
cle Lion, Amadis de Gaul, or Jack the Giant- 

Even senators entered into this scramble for stray 
laurels, for several assured me (Wilson and Chandler) 
that it was their individual exertions alone which had 
prevented the entire 'Grand Army' from precipi- 
tating itself pell-mell into the Potomac ; and they 
were really indebted to the discretion of a subordi- 
nate officer, that the alternative had not been forced 
upon them. A telegraphic order had been sent to 
Washington by General M'Dowell, to cut the draw 
of the Long Bridge, ' as Beauregard and Johnson 
were hotly pursuing him with fresh troops.' This 
bridge spanned the Potomac just opposite Washing- 
ton, and was the only means of crossing the river at 
that point. 

Crimination, and recrimination, now became the 
order of the day, and everybody shrank from the 
responsibility of the forward movement. The com- 
manding General, Scott, said, ' I did n't do it, for I 
teas not ready.'' The Political Directory said, ' We 
did nt do it — it was that old dotard Scott, whom 
ive will remove.' President Lincoln said, 6 I didn't 
do it — by jingo, I didn't!' And so, in the end, the 
world* was about as well informed as to who 


ordered the advance of the Grand Army as 'who 
killed Cock Kobin.' 

About this time I met Mr. Seward, who assured 
me that ' there was nothing serious the matter ; ' that 
I might assure my friends, upon his authority, that all 
would be over in sixty days. I answered him, ' Well, 
sir, you have enjoyed the first-fruits of the " irre- 
pressible conflict." ' 

Seward had, a short time prior to his visit to 

1 England, in a speech delivered by him at Koch ester, 

New York, as a bid for the nomination as President by 

the Kepublican party,, made use of that remarkable 

expression of the irrepressible conflict between the 

' white and black races, indicating, even at that early 

j day, the policy to which he would commit himself 

in order to attain the object of his ambition — the 

Executive chair. At a later period, he endeavoured 

to explain this away, and in conversation with me 

said, 'If heaven would forgive him for stringing 

together two high-sounding words, he would never 

do it again.' 

By-and-by things began to quiet down. The 
hirelings of the Government press exercised their 
ingenuity in mystifying the people. The count- 
less hosts of the enemy were described (these, be 
it known, at no time exceeded twelve thousand 


actually engaged against the more than quadruple 
force of the invading army) ; their masked batteries 
and military defences threw into the shade the plains 
of Abraham, or even the fortifications of Sebastopol. 

It would be idle to recount the gasconade of those 
who fled from imaginary foes, or to describe the 
forlorn condition of the returning heroes, who had 
gone forth to battle flushed with anticipated triumph 
and crowned in advance with the laurel of victory. 
Alas ! their plight was pitiable enough. Some were 
described as being minus hat or shoes. Amongst 
this latter class was Colonel Burnside, who, on the 
morning that he sallied forth for the ' sacred soil,' 
is said to have required two orderlies to carry the 
flowers showered upon him by the women of 
Northern proclivities. 

Meanwhile the muttered sound of the people's 
voice was heard from far and near asking meaning 
questions of the why and wherefore of the disasters 
It was like the rumbling of the distant thunder pre 
saging the coming storm ; and well the Abolition 
Government knew that, if this discontent was al- 
lowed to gather strength, it would hurl them from 
their present lawless eminence to the ignominy they 

The invaders had been taught to believe that a 


bloodless victory awaited tliem— that the ' All hail ! ' 
of the witches of Macbeth would greet them : and 
. so possessed were they with the idea of their philan- 
thropic mission as hberators of an oppressed people, 
' bowed under the yoke of a haughty aristocracy,' 
that many of their officers, particularly the famous 
New York 7th regiment, took far more pains to 
prepare white gloves and embroidered vests for ' the 
balls ' to be given in their honour at Eichmond than 
in securing cartridges for their muskets. When con- 
suited on the subject I said, ' No doubt they would 
receive a great many balls, but I did not think that 
a very recherche toilet would be expected.' 

The fanatical feeling was now at its height. Mad- 
dened by defeat, they sought a safe means of vent- 
ing their pent-up wrath. The streets were filled 
with armed and unarmed ruffians ; women were 
afraid to go singly into the streets for fear of insult ; 
curses and blasphemy rent the ah', and no one 
would have been surprised at any hour at a general 
massacre of the peaceful inhabitants. This appre- 
hension was shared even by the better class of 
U. S. officers. I was urged to leave the city by 
more than one, and an escort offered to be furnished 
me if I desired ; but, at whatever peril, I resolved 
to remain, conscious of the great service I could 

24 on to Richmond! 

render ray country, rny position giving me remark- 
able facilities for obtaining information. 

In anticipation of more fearful scenes, the inha- 
bitants were leaving the city as rapidly as the means 
of transportation or conveyance could be obtained, 
and many even of the Federal officers sent their 
families to the North or other places of fancied 






A.T this time a number of Confederate prisoners, 
who had been taken in the first day's fight when our 
irmy fell back from Bull Eun, were brought to 
Washington, and on passing Willard's Hotel were set 
ipon by the crowd who usually congregated there, 
ind pelted with stones and other missiles, which 
seriously wounded a number. In order to prevent 
-he prisoners from being actually torn to . pieces, 
l company of U. S. regulars had to be called out to 
protect them to their quarters, the old Capitol prison ; 
md during the march to that point the soldiers had 
•epeatedly to threaten to fire upon the mob, who 
Pressed upon them with shouts and obscene re- 




As soon as I heard of the circumstance, I went up; 
to the prison to minister to the wants of our sufferers] 
and found many with severe cuts and bruises. I was 
accompanied by my friend Miss Mackall, and had tin 
satisfaction of not only being the first friendly facq 
seen by them, but to know that I had arrived at the 
right time ; for I found there an 'emissary of Lincoln 
— I had like to have said Satan — dressed in black, 
with a white neckcloth, who I afterwards learnec 
was Mr. Commissioner Wood, one of the subscribers 
for Mrs. Lincoln's carriage and horses, and who had 
received his appointment in consequence thereof. 

He was with great earnestness haranguing the pri- 
soners, and trying to persuade them that they woulc 
all be hanged unless they took the oath of allegiance 
to the Abolition Government. I listened attentively 
to the man, who did not seem to relish the addition 
to his audience ; and afterwards, as rapidly as I 
could, assured each group of prisoners that this 
man's threat was idle, and only for the purpose of 
intimidation, and for some false announcement to 
the world ; that the Yankees were obliged to treat 
them as belligerents, and hold them as prisoners of 
war for exchange ; that our Government would fear- 
fully retaliate any violence against them, as we helc 
an excess of prisoners of a hundred to one. This 


satisfied them, especially the younger portion, who 
"each refused the Yankee pardon on the terms pro- 
posed. I afterwards took the list of their various 
'(wants, and, in conjunction with high parties, whom it 
would be imprudent to name, supplied them with 
clothing and other needful things, food and beds and 
bedding inclusive, as the Yankees had made no pro- 
vision of any kind, save the naked walls of a prison. 
There was an ample Confederate fund in Washing- 
: ton for this purpose. Mrs. Philips and family also 
-exerted themselves in this holy work. 

This lady was arrested in Washington at the samejV^ 
time that I was, and after a short detention was sent ^ 
South. She then became a resident of New Orleans. 
3 During the reign of terror of Butler in that city a 
(Yankee funeral passed her house, and she was seen 
Ho smile upon her balcony during the procession. 
"For this grave offence she was dragged before him, 
\ and questioned as to her motive for doing so, to which 
she dauntlessly replied, 'Because I was in a good 
; humour.' She was condemned to three months' im- 
prisonment, upon a barren island, under a tropical 
sun, with soldiers' rations, and subjected to other gross 
and brutal indignities, until the poor lady's health 
gave way, and her life became imperilled. The 
f representations and remonstrances of the medical 


attendant, who was more humane than his master, 
failed to procure any mitigation of the harsh sen- 
tence until the period had expired, when she was 
banished, an invalid for life. In the course of her 
examination before Butler, he said : ' I expect to be 
killed before I leave the South, by either you or 
Mrs. Greenhow ; ' to which she answered, ' We 
usually order our negroes to kill our swine ! ' 

Mr. Charles Sumner was said to have been a com- 
placent looker-on if not an actual participator in that 
chivalrous demonstration against unarmed prisoners. 
Mayhap his wrath was appeased by the sight of the 
bleeding victims, who could hold no correcting rod 
over his own coward shoulders. 

A few days after an order was given to exclude 
all visitors, in which I was specially named. In 
(^ spite, however, of the prohibition, I had no difficulty 
in communicating when I desired. 

Soon after I passed into other hands my share in 
this good work ; for more important employment 
occupied my time. 

The Yankee Government and Yankee Congress 
were now exercised upon the subject of reorganising 
their shattered hosts. The military committee was 
specially charged with the task, and certainly grave 
efforts were being made to this end, the primary 


object being to mystify the people as to the past, in 
.order to make them blind instruments in the future ; 
Jbr it was now truly a nation of subterfuges and 

At this time the solemn farce was enacted of ad- 
mitting as U. S. senators the bogus members from 
j Western Virginia. I was in the gallery of the Senate 
it the time, and happened to remark upon the pro- 
ceedings to my own party, when a man sitting before 
jne in the uniform of lieutenant-colonel of Yankee 
/olunteers, in company with a number of other s^x' 

officers, turned and said, ' That is treason ; we will 
(show you that it must be put a stop to ; we have a 
government to maintain,' &c. This was the first 
.effort of the kind to repress freedom of opinion 
tadrich had come under my observation, and the 
oeginning of that reign of terror for which we 
should be obliged to seek precedents in the age of 
i Nero or Caligula. Yet I confess that it did not 
surprise me. I leaned forward and said deliberately, 
I My remarks were addressed to my companions, and 
lot to you ; and if I did not discover by your lan- 
guage that you must be ignorant of all the laws of 
pod-breeding, I should take the number of your 
company and report you to your commanding officer 
o be punished for your impertinence ! ' Seeing me 

y^ ' 


addressed by him, several gentlemen came forward. 
as also the door-keeper, who said, ' Madam, if he 
insults you I will put him out.' To which I replied. 
k Oh, never mind: he is too ignorant to know what 
he has done.' This defender of the faithful, mean- 
while, played most vehemently with his sword, and I 
expected momentarily to have it drawn against me. 
His brother officers one by one withdrew, and left 
him alone in his glory. 

A few moments after this scene a republican se- 
nator came up to the gallery to speak w r ith me, and 
I related the circumstance, and advised him to s^o 
down to the Senate and move a revival of the alien 
and sedition law, as I supposed it would come to 
that, since armed ruffians were placed in the gal- 
leries to awe the crowd. This ' brave ' bore it as long 
as possible, and finally got up and went out. I saw 
this man once more, upon the occasion of my being 
summoned before the IT. S. commission, after I had 
been some eight months a prisoner. He was stand- 
ing in the doorway of the building in which the 
commission was held, as if he expected to see me ; 
a look of triumph lighted up his face as his eye 
encountered mine. I could not resist the tempta- 
tion of significantly passing my finger across my 
throat, and saying, ' Beware ! ' — as Balzac's story of 


the poor Marie Antoinette and Joseph Balsamo came 
to my mind. 

This was destined to be a day of adventure. 
Quite an excitement was caused by a rumour that 
1 a battle was going on across the river. The Con- 
federate forces were at that time in possession of 
1 Arlington Heights, the former residence of the ve- 
: nerable Park Custus, the grandson of Washington : 
from him it had come by inheritance to our own 
' great General Lee. I went with my party to the 
portico of the Congressional Library, whence the best 
J view could be obtained, and saw the smoke from the 
1 camp-fires gracefully curling up, and remarked, 
) ' That is no battle. The rebels are cooking their 
• dinners.' A number of persons had crowded around 
jiand joined in the conversation. Some one proposed 
Ho send back to the Senate for Chandler, Wilson, 
land Foster, the heroic trio who had fled so va- 
lorously from the field at Manassas, spreading the 
news of the defeat. I objected on the score of 
j humanity, as it was not right to give such a shock 
to their nervous systems, since neither of those sena- 
tors had been able to stand the fire in their own 
-pipes since that hapless Gilpin race. 
{ Finally I fell into conversation with a lank lean 
'man, with a big nose and a pair of green spec- 



tacles, who asked me if I had ever witnessed a 
battle. I replied that I had experienced a pro- 
nunciamento in the city of Mexico. In the course 
of his remarks he said that he would rather give 
up Washington than that it should be held by- 
means of fortifications, but that Lincoln, Seward, 
and the whole set were cowards, and a great 
deal more which I considered useful information. 
I knew that this man was a senator, and fancied 
that it might be ' Jim Lane ' of Kansas, he whom 
I have denominated as 'Balaam's Ass.' He said 
that he had seen me in the gallery of the 
Senate, and asked what I thought of the proceed- 

I related the attack on my liberty of speech, and 
wondered what sort of performance we should be 
treated to next, whether a tragedy or another farce ; 
and, I confess, gave a most grotesque account of the 
speeches during the solemn mockery of the morning, 
expressing my surprise that more ingenuity had 
not been displayed to disguise the unconstitutionality 
of the act, to dismember and defraud a sovereign state 
of her territorial rights, individualising Trumbull's 
effort as one for which a schoolboy should have won a 
'dunce cap.' I saw a suppressed laugh all around, and 
that the person to whom I spoke seemed embarrassed, 


and finally fell back and spoke with a gentleman of 

I my party. This person came tome and said, 'Do you 
\ know that you have been talking to Senator Trum- 
bull all this while ? ' I was quite as much amused 

[: at the contretemps as any of my hearers. But I 
! should have considered it a reflection upon my good 
i taste to have been previously cognisant of the fact, 
J so assured Senator Trumbull that I had no idea that 
[ the subject of my criticism was the patient listener 
d who stood before me — ' But for once in your life you 
It have heard an honest opinion fearlessly expressed.'; 
& Abolitionist as he was, I must do him the justice to 

say that he behaved very well. 

Humbug still continued the order of the day at 
: Washington. Another cry was raised that the Ca- 
l : pitol was again in danger. This time the programme 
;was changed. The hero of Lundy's Lane and of 
e Mexico was to be laid on the shelf, to all purposes 
• superseded. But he still stood a mighty ruin in 
f their way, propped by the lingering confidence of a 

'nation, and no man was bold enough to say, ' This 

is not the right man for the place.' Cunning and 
; craft were the characteristic qualities called into 

{requisition here. Seward, with Jesuitical skill, 

II affected to support the weak old man, wishing to 
: 3nact the fable of 'the monkey and the chestnuts.' 

......... J) , . ' 


But even his selfish policy had to yield to the 
tempest he had aided to raise. 
■ As a preparation for what was to follow, 
Congress passed an ' act regulating the pay of the 
Lieutenant-General in case of his resignation' 01 
' voluntary retirement.'' 

Young America now became the theme of every 
tongue. The great battles of the world, both in ancienl 
and modern times, were proved to have been foughl 
by generals who were adolescent. Cassar, Hannibal 
and JSapoleon were cited as examples, and even oui 
own immortal Washington had many years deductec 
from his actual age when he fought the battles o 
the revolution. 

The ears of the rabble were tickled by all this 
justice was lost sight of; — and so a young chieftah 
was summoned to the field of intrigue. Nothing 
remarkable thus far had distinguished him abov< 
his compeers ; but, touched by the magic wand o 
political expediency, he came forth full-fledged, witl 
honours thick upon him. In a single day, fron 
a subordinate position he became Major-Genera 
M'Clellan, the virtual head of the dictator's armie 
— whose policy of bestowing honours in advano 
differed widely from that of the greatest man o 
the present times, in the European world — Louis 
Napoleon, — by whom grades were always conferrec 


after the battle won, as witness Magenta, Solferino, 
&c. Subsequent to the rout at Manassas, President 
Lincoln promoted all the officers, many of whom were 
proved to have fled from the field in advance of 
their regiments. 

Again comes into bold relief the sycophancy of 
President Lincoln's proteges. All the military qualities 
of any age were unscrupulously purloined, to deck 
the hero of the hour. By degrees they fixed upon the 
great Napoleon as his prototype — I suppose from the 
fact that he is short, and rather inclined to corpulency, 
as was latterly the ' Little Corporal ; ' and, besides, 
sycophants are ever ready to discern what pleases best. 

Under the auspices of the ' Young General,' the 
military are put in motion ; hither and thither they 
n are marched, and counter-marched ; mysterious 
movement being his forte. He, however, set himself 
energetically to the task of reorganising and disci- 
plining the demoralised rabble he was called upon to 

General Scott, who at this time was still the 
nominal commander-in-chief, wrote a letter to the 
Honourable Henry Wilson, lauding his patriotic ex- 
ertion, and urging him to accept military command, 
and commending his capacity for such position in 
very high terms. By a singular coincidence, M'Clellan 

x> 2 


urcred the same gentleman ' to do him the honour to 
accept the position of chief of his staff! ' This propo- 
sition was made by M'Clellan in the reception-room 
of President Lincoln. I mention these incidents, to 
show the political bias of all parties at the time ; 
that the Abolition star was in the ascendant, and that 
everybody fawned upon its chosen apostles. 

M'Clellan also invited the Count de Paris and 
Duke d'Aumale to become members of his staff. 
Their acceptance was heralded with great circum- 
stance, as this infusion of the aristocratic element 
into the Abolition ranks was regarded as a national 
triumph. Edifying accounts were given of their in- 
troduction to President Lincoln, and especially to 
Master Bob, the Abolition scion of royalty. They 
were amiable ladylike-looking young Frenchmen, 
better fitted from their appearance to assist in Mrs. 
Lincoln's educational scheme (thus treading in the 
footsteps of their royal ancestor Louis-Philippe, who 
taught French in Philadelphia) than to win laurels 
enough to disturb the equanimity of that wise and 
sagacious Prince whom Providence has appointed to 
rule over France. 

A commission of Brigadier-General was also ten- 
dered to Garibaldi. 

Meanwhile the panic at Washington, instead of sub- 


siding, received new impulse each day, from some 
extravagant rumours. A strong guard was stationed 
around all the public buildings. The redoubtable 
Jim Lane, of Kansas notoriety, and his band of 
ruffians, were quartered in the east room of the 
White House, for the protection of President Lincoln 
and his family. Sentinels paced to and fro in front 
of the house, and at six o'clock in the evening the 
gates were closed, and no one could enter without 
the countersign. 

Everything about the national Capitol betokened 
the panic of the Administration. Preparations were 
made for the expected attack, and signals arranged 
to give the alarm. The signal was three guns from 
the Provost-Marshal's office, followed by the tolling 
of the church bells at intervals of fifteen minutes. 

By a singular providence (for it would be wrong 
to ascribe these things to chance), I went round with 
the principal officer in charge of this duty, and took 
advantage of the situation. The alarm-guns of the 
Yankees were the rallying cry of a devoted band 
whose hearts beat high with hope. The task before 
them was worthy of aU hazard, and our gallant 
Beauregard would have found himself right ably 
seconded by the rebels of Washington had he 
deemed it expedient to advance on that city. 


A part of the plan was, to have cut the telegraph wires 
connecting the various military positions with the 
War Department, to take prisoners M'Clellan and 
several others, thereby creating still greater confu- 
sion in the first moments of panic. Measures had 
also been taken to spike the guns in Fort Corcoran, 
Fort Ellsworth, and other important points, accurate 
drawings of which had been furnished to our com- 
C manding officer_at Manassas by me. 

Quite an ingenious plan was adopted at this time 
to discover if the ' rebel ' communication was unin- 
terrupted. Young Doolittle, the son of the senator 
of that name, and clerk of the military committee, 
who was an occasional and useful visitor at my 
house, brought me a letter for Colonel Corcoran at 
Richmond, with the modest request that I would 
send it. I told him that M'Clellan's excessive vigi- 
lance had rendered communication almost impos- 
sible, but that he might leave it and trust to the 
chance. He called repeatedly to ascertain whether 
the letter had been sent ; but I understood the 
motive, and was always very sorry that no oppor- 
/ tunity had occurred. I need hardly say that during 
this period I was in almost daily correspondence 
with Manassas. 

The Capitol, by this, had been made one of the 


strongest fortified cities of the world — every avenue 
to it being guarded by works believed to be impreg- 
nable. Thirty-three fortifications surrounded it. 
But this alone was not deemed sufficient. Extra- 
ordinary vigilance was exercised ; market-carts and 
news boys were overhauled, to look for treasonable 
correspondence — every box was either a masked 
battery, or infernal machine — but, alas ! without suc- 
cess, until a sudden inspiration seized them. The 
Southern women of Washington are the cause of the ) 
defeat of the grand army ! They are entitled to the 
laurels won by the brave defenders of our soil and 
institutions ! They have told Beauregard when to 
strike ! They, with their siren arts, have possessed 
themselves of the plans and schemes of the Lincoln 
Cabinet, and warned Jeff. Davis of them. 

The most skillful detectives were summoned from 
far and near, to trace the steps of maids and matrons. 
For several weeks I had been followed, and my / 
house watched, by those emissaries of the State De- 
partment, the detective police. This was often a sub- 
ject of amusement to me ; and several times, when 
accompanied by my young friend Miss Mackall, we ) 
would turn and follow those who we fancied were 
giving us an undue share of attention. Still I believed 
it private enterprise, originating with some philanthro- 


pist who had my well-being at heart ; for I was slow 
to credit that even the fragment of a once glorious 
Government could give to the world such a proof of 
craven fear and weakness as to turn the arms, which 
the blind confidence of a deluded people had placed; 
in their hands, for the achievement of other ends, 
against the breasts of helpless defenceless women 
and children. Nevertheless it is a fact, significant of 
events to follow. Lawless acts of violence seldom 
stand alone ; and the careful readers of the history 
of the last two hundred years will find numerous 
parallel cases. 

No nation on the face of the globe has made such 
rapid strides to despotism as the Federal Govern- 
ment. The first acts of the Eepublican President 
were to violate the express provisions of the Consti- 
tution : those safeguards provided by the wisdom of 
our fathers for the protection of the rights of the 
citizen have been suspended, under the plea of 
military necessity. The law of the land has given 
place to the law of the despot. 

The first act of the Eepublican Congress assem- 
bled in this city of Washington on the 4th day of 
July, 1861, was to legalise the acts of their President, 
thereby admitting that he, the chief magistrate of 
the nation, had been guilty of perjury and treason 


' before God and man ; for his oath of office had been, 
to support the Constitution of the United States, and 
to administer the laws in accordance with its pro- 

i visions. But instead of being impeached for his 

I crimes, he was eulogised, and unlimited powers were 
conferred upon him. 

A few voices were raised in protest in both houses 
of Congress. Breckenridge made a speech on the 

i occasion which must transmit his name with undying 

' honour to posterity ; for it was the last cry of free- 

i dom ever to be heard in those walls, until they shall 
have been purged by fire and blood. 

No voice of inspiration is needed to point where 
this nation is drifting. The crimes which have dis- 
graced other lands, from the contemplation of which 

- humanity shrinks appalled, will yet be enacted here. 
A people do not sink at once from the height of 

• prosperity, and power, and civilisation, to the lowest 
abyss of lawless despotism, without some spasmodic 
attempts at counteraction. But the systematic 
efforts at demoralisation will soon be apparent : the 
public taste will become vitiated ; the voice of con- 
science will be smothered by the craving for excite- 
ment ; fanaticism will assume the guise of patriotism, 

}and under that sacred name the rights of civilisation 

J will be trampled under foot. 


The guillotine was a most humane invention ; but] 
in the hands of a lawless mob became a fearful in- 
strument of vengeance, and has damned to immor- 
tality its harmless inventor, who also perished by it. 
Mr. Lincoln and his Minister of State, Mr. Seward, 
have set at work the social guillotine ; and I am but} 
a poor prophet unless, in its evolutions, they also, 
become the victims ; for they have inaugurated a 
mighty revolution, the bitter fruits, of which will be 
brought home to them. 

It was the intention of the Abolitionists to arrest 
Breckenridge for treason immediately on the con- 
clusion of his speech, had he afforded the slightest 
pretext for doing so. Several of the prominent; 
leaders had told me, ' that they had committed a 
blunder in ever having allowed him to take his seat.', 
I warned Mr. Breckenridge of his danger, and gave 
him the names of the parties who had spoken thus 
to me. He at once recognised his peril, and so 
re-worded his speech as to avoid the threatened 
danger, at which the Abolitionists were greatly 

Charles Sumner was anxious that a test-oath should 
be applied to those senators who were considered ol 
doubtful loyalty to the Lincolnites, as had been 
already done to officers of the army; Colonel John 


'jee having the unenviable notoriety of being the 
rst Southern-born officer who subscribed to this 
•'ath of allegiance to the tyrant. 

It must not be supposed that the social element 

-as neglected in these times of stern alarm. Mr. 

Reward was too new in his character of diplomatist 

J) disregard so important a concomitant of success. 

le had recently returned from Europe — had basked 

h the smiles of Lord John Eussell and the Exeter 

[all clique — and had been taught by a charming 

iplomatic lady that a white neck-cloth was alone 

\i>mme il faut at a dinner or evening party. So he 

liok the Club House, made memorable in Washing- 

t>n on account of its proximity to the scene of that 

jarful Sickels tragedy, and commenced a series of 

atertainments, which were attended by a vast crowd 

P ? men in uniforms, and a sparse sprinkling of women, 

^'ho, with few exceptions, were not of a class to shed 

iuch lustre on the Eepublican Court ; for the re- 

piement and grace which had once constituted the 

;{;iarm of Washington life had long since departed, 

lid, like its former freedom, was now, alas ! a 

Jadition only. 

<i We find, by historical observation, that nations as 
t.ey begin to decline in morality and civilisation have 
'ways a morbid passion for pastimes and amusements 


which address themselves to the physical sensq 
France, in her days of revolution, had her saturnalia 
the Goddess of Liberty — Mexico her bull-fights — ai 
the Yankee nation her colossal reviews and mini 
battles, at which President Lincoln, surrounded by h 
satellites, complacently assisted, as if the salvoes 
artillery which rent the air in his honour could shi 
out from the ears of Heaven, as well as from his ow; 
the wail of the widow and the orphan. 

It is difficult to reconcile the frivolity of the: 
people from the beginning with a sense of the peri 
which environed them. Mr. Seward, even after tl 
direful rout at Manassas — when hecatombs i 
their dead lay manuring the sacred soil — persiste 
in saying ' There is nothing the matter! ' Presidei 
Lincoln still said ' There is nobody hurt I ' eve 
though he had reached the Capitol like an escape 
convict, under the disguise of a 'Scotch cap an 
cloak,' and continued for days to edify his visitoi 
with an account of his ingenuity in eluding the suj 
posed murderous snare which had been set for him- 
leaving his wife and children, however, with tm 
Yankee chivalry, to encounter the dreadful fate froi 
which he so exultantly described himself as havin 

' Nobody hurt ! ' and yet this same unconstitutionc 


resident pursues his evening drive under escort of 
i armed guard, which quite takes us back to the 
:udal ages. The sight pleased me, I confess, as a 
teshadowing of the gathering tempest. 
\ I wish I could present to the mind's eye a picture 
; ? Washington as it really appeared under the de- 
coration of the Black Kepublican rule. Those of 
f s former population who remained from necessity 
1 other causes had disappeared entirely from tlie 
-irface of society. A new people had taken their 
aces, as distinct and marked in their characteristics 
{■ any barbarian race that ever overran Christendom, 
id who, in their insolent pride of conquest, speedily 
faced every landmark of civilisation. 
1 The city was filled to overflowing with greedy ad- 
^nturers seeking office. Day after day, and month 
ter month, the resistless tide, with black glazed 
,rpet-bag in hand, came rolling in. I sometimes 
ought them the lost tribes of Israel, who, sniffing 
Dm afar the golden harvest, had pierced the con- 
ies of eternity and found their way over. Every 
r ioroughfare — every public building — doorway, and 
fyrridor, and steps — were blocked up by these sturdy; 
'ggars, who came to demand the spoils of victory ; 
d who, disdainino; the accommodation of hotel or 
Iging-house, ate their meals out of those same black 


glazed carpet-bags, on the highways or byways, ari 
slept like dogs in a kennel. 

Add to all this the thousands of drunken d 
moralised soldiers who filled the streets, crowdh 
women into the gutters, with ribald and obscer 
observations, and sometimes with more person 
insult. It was even difficult to look from the wii 
dows without the sense of decency being shocket 
and the public squares, which were once sue 
favourite resorts, had now become the chosen plac 
of debauchery and crime. The schools throughoi 
the city had been closed, as it was no longer safe f( 
children to go into the street. 

Upon no class of the community did this total al: 
negation of all the laws, both human and divine, td 
with such saddening effect as upon the free coloure 
population, especially the women, whose sober ii 
dustrious habits of former days had given plac 
under the influence of the new order of things, to tl 
most unbridled licentiousness, and who were to be see 
at all public places bedecked in gorgeous attin 
sharing the smiles of the volunteer officers an 
soldiers with the republican dames and demoiselles 

I have frequently received the answer, when 
have sent to demand the services of a neoro serving 
woman, ' that she woidd not come, for the reaso 


hat she had an engagement to drive or walk with a 
Yankee officer.' 

[ I will gladly turn from the contemplation of this 
tieart-sickening picture to the comedy of ' High Life 
>elow Stairs' being enacted at the White House. 
[idrs. Lincoln, disregarding, or more probably being 
ignorant of, the conventional usages which have from 
iime immemorial regulated the etiquette at the 
i Presidential mansion, created much amusement and 
tadiculous comment upon the first public occasion 
ifter the assumption of her new dignity in the 
•eception of the ladies of the diplomatic corps. 

The custom at Washington is precisely similar 
jio that practised at all other courts, that, as soon 
iilifter the installation of a new chief as is practicable, 
he representatives of foreign nations accredited 
i;o the Government should be formally introduced by 
he Secretary of State, and a complimentary address 
{delivered in their behalf by the doyen, or oldest 
unember of the diplomatic body, which is answered 
py the President — all being arranged beforehand, 

ven to the exchange of the addresses. 

In like manner the ladies of the diplomatic corps, 
after due notification, are presented to the feminine 

epresentative of the White House. 
This ceremony is always regarded as one of 


importance, second only to a presentation at St 
James's or St. Cloud. The ladies in question, aftei 
due notification, presented themselves en gtandi 
tenue at the White House, where they were ushered 
very unceremoniously into one of the reception- 
rooms, and left in a most uncomfortable state ol 
uncertainty as to the next step in the programme; 
After some time, and when speculation had well nigh 
exhausted itself, a young woman, dressed in a pink 
wrapper and tucked petticoat, came bounding in 
not making, however, the slightest recognition of thcl 
presence of the distinguished visitors assembled, but 
stood balancing herself first on one foot and then the 
other, surveying them meanwhile with a most non- 
chalant air, and after having gratified her curiosit\ 
withdrew with as little ceremony as she had entered. 
The surprised enquiry of the stranger ladies, ' Is this 
Mrs. Lincoln ? ' had scarcely subsided, when a smal 
dowdy-looking woman, with artificial flowers in hei 
hair, appeared. The first idea was that she was ; 
servant sent to make excuses for the singular dela\ 
of Mrs. Lincoln. But she approached and addressee 
herself in conversation to the wife of a secretary o: 
legation, and it gradually dawned upon the part) 
that this was the feminine representative of the Black 
Republican Eoyalty, and they made the best of the 


j awkward situation. Mrs. Lincoln herself, however, 
,not seeming to be aware that everything was not 
* conducted in the most orthodox fashion, had in- 
structed a little lady to inform Mine. Mercier that she 
was studying French, and would by winter be able 
to converse with her in that language. By this 
,she has probably discovered that there is no ' royal 
I road to learning.' 

I had a most graphic description of this scene 
from more than one of the victims of this first Ee- 
publican Court ceremony, and only wish that I could 
give the picture with all its nicer touches. The 
young lady in the tucked petticoat was a niece of 
Mrs. Lincoln. 

j Owing to the fact of Mr. Seward being master of 
[the ceremonies, Mr. Lincoln was a little less bizarre in 
jhis ministerial reception. But at the dinner given 
[in honour of the occasion, when the different wines 
were served, and he was asked which he would take, 
lie turned to the servant with most touching sim- 
plicity and said : ' I don't know : which would 

This anecdote is as well authenticated as the 
spilling of the cup of tea on Mrs. Masham's gown. 

A distinguished diplomatist, in discussing the 
merits of the illustrious pair, said : ' He is better than 



she, for lie seems by his manner to apologise foi 
being there.' 

President Harrison is said on his death-bed to have 
instructed the barber who shaved him, to carry oui 
the provisions of the Constitution ; and Presideni 
Lincoln, much to the chagrin of his constitutions 
advisers, was in the habit of discussing matters o: 
equal importance with his servants, or ' helps,' as In 
termed them. 

Mrs. Lincoln asserted with great energy her righ 
to a share of the distribution of the Executive patron 
age. She had received as a present, from a mai 
named Lammon, a magnificent carriage and horses 
promising him in return the marshalship of the dis 
trict of Columbia, one of the most lucrative offices ii 
the gift of the Executive. 

Mr. Lincoln had, however, determined to bestov 
the office upon another applicant, who had also pai< 
his douceur, and who was in attendance, waiting 
to receive the commission which was being mad< 
out. Mrs. Lincoln came into the President's office 
asked what commission it was that he was signing 
and on being told, seized it from his hands, tore it ii 
pieces, saying that she had promised it to 'Lammon. 
and he should have it, else her name was not ' Mar 


1 Lammon of course received the commission, and 
i the discomfited applicant reported this conjugal 
' scene ; and from that hour commenced the system 
ii of votive offerings at the shrine of Mrs. Lincoln. 
i It had been a custom at Washington to distribute 
i the hay and grass, cut from the public grounds, to 
I the poor and meritorious population of the city. 
'] It was a cheap and graceful charity on the part of 

the Government, duly appreciated by the recipients ; 
f for, thus aided, many a poor widow was enabled to 
ft buy bread for her children, from the proceeds of 

milk from her cow. Mrs. Lincoln put a stop to this 

praiseworthy custom, and claimed it as one of her 


Commonplace and vulgar as these incidents may 

seem, they are, however, useful illustrations of the 

practical application of William M. Marcy's famous 
i aphorism, ' To the victors belong the spoils.' The 
it anecdotes of Queen Christina of Sweden present 

more clearly the character and degree of civilisation 

i 1 of the people over whom she reigned than any 

; laboured historical effort could have done ; and 

i no one would dream of describing a royal banquet 

': amongst the Fejee islanders and omit the cold bishop 

j on the side-table. 

E 2 






The digression in the last chapter has drawn me 
from my purpose of telling how I became a prisoner 
of State. 

September the 6th was the first time since that 
eventful period that I had had access to pen and 
paper — all writing-materials having been hitherto 
withheld from me by order of the heads of the 
War and State Departments ; and, as I knew not 
at what hour the act of grace might be rescinded, I 
felt inclined to make the most of it. 

As I have said, on Friday, August 23, 1861, as I 
was entering my own door, on returning from a pro- 
menade, I was arrested by two men, one hi citizen's 
dress, and the other in the fatigue dress of an officer 


ox the United States Army. This latter was called 
Major Allen, and was the chief of the detective 
police of the city. They followed close upon my 

I had stopped to enquire after the sick children of 
one of my neighbours, on the opposite side of the 
street. From several persons on the side-walk at the 
time, en jjassant, I derived some valuable informa- 
tion ; amongst other things, it was told me that 
ia guard had been stationed around my house 
throughout the night, and that I had been followed 
during my promenade, and had probably been 
j allowed to pursue it unmolested, from the fact that a 
n distinguished member of the diplomatic corps had 
joined me, and accompanied me to that point. This 
j caused me to observe more closely the two men who 
(had followed, and who walked with an air of 
t conscious authority past my house to the end of the 
c pavement, where they stood surveying me. 

I continued my conversation apparently without 

]• noticing them, remarking rapidly to one of our 

humble agents who passed, ' Those men will probably 

[ arrest me. Wait at Corcoran's Corner, and see. If I 

.raise my handkerchief to my face, give information 

of it.' The person to whom this order was given 

went whistling along. I then put a very important 


note into my month, which I destroyed ; and turned, 
and walked leisurely across the street, and ascended 
my own steps. 

A few moments after, and before I could open the 
door, the two men above described rapidly ascended 
also, and asked, with some confusion of manner, 'Is 
this Mrs. Greenhow ? ' I answered, ' Yes.' They still 
hesitated ; whereupon I said, ' Who are you, and 
what do you want ? ' 'I come to arrest you.' ' By 
what authority ? ' The man Allen, or Pinkerton (for 
he had several aliases), said, ' By sufficient authority.' 
' Let me see your warrant.' He mumbled something 
about verbal authority from the "War and State De- 
partments, and then both stationed themselves upon 
either side of me, and followed into the house. I 
rapidly glanced my eye to see that my signal had been 
understood, and remarked quietly, ' I have no power 
to resist you ; but, had I been inside of my house, I 
would have killed one of you before I had submitted 
to tins illegal process.' They replied, with evident 
trepidation, ' That would have been wrong, as we 
only obey orders, and both have families.' 

This scene occurred in much less time than is 
requisite to describe it. I took a rapid survey of 
the two men, and in that instant decided upon my 
own line of conduct ; for I knew that the fate of some 


,)f the best and bravest belonging to our cause hung 
rpon my own coolness and courage. 

By this the house had become filled with men ; who 
ilso surrounded it outside, like bees from a hive. The 
calmness of desperation was upon me, for I recog- 
lised this as the first step in that system of infamy 
vhich was yet to hold up this nation of isms to the 
corn of the civilised world. This was the first act 
>f the new copartnership of Seward, M'Clellan, & Co., 
j — the strategic step, on coming into power, of the 
'■oung general so lauded — an attack upon women 
aid children, and a brilliant earnest of the laurels 
o be won on his march to Eichmond. 

I asked, after a few moments' survey of the scene, 
What are you going to do ? ' ' To search,' Allen re- 
plied. i I will facilitate your labours ;' and, going to the 
nantel, I took from a vase a paper, dated Manassas, 
uly 23, containing these words — 'Lt.-Col. Jordon's 
:omphments to Mrs. E. Greenhow. Well, but hard- 
forked ' — the rest of the letter being torn off before 
t reached me, some ten days before, through the city 
)Ost-office. I suspected its delicate mission, so kept 
t, from an instinct of caution, and had shown it to 
'^lajor Bache, of U. S. A., Captain Eichard Cutts, 
*Vilson, of Massachusetts, and several others. I 
hrew it to Allen, saying, ' You would like to finish 


this job, I suppose ? ' He took it, discarding, how- 
ever, the city envelope in which I had received it. 

My cool and indifferent manner evidently discon- 
certed the whole party. They had expected that, 
under the influence of the agitation and excitement 
of the trying position, I should have been guilty oi 
some womanly indiscretion by which they could 

An hidiscriminate search now commenced through 
| out my house. Men rushed with frantic haste into 
my chamber, into every sanctuary. My beds, 
drawers, and wardrobes were all upturned ; soiled 
clothes were pounced upon with avidity, and merci 
lessly exposed ; papers that had not seen the light 
for years were dragged forth. My library was 
taken possession of, and every scrap of paper, every 
idle line was seized ; even the torn fragments in the 
grates or other receptacles were carefully gathered 
together by these latter-day Lincoln resurrectionists. 

My library, be it remembered, was my sanctum ; 
it was there also that I gave lessons to my children, 
many of whose unlettered scribblings were tortured 
into dangerous correspondence with the enemy. 

I was a keen observer of their clumsy activity, 
and resolved to test the truth of the old saying that 
i the devil is no match for a clever woman ! ' I was 


fully advised that this extraordinary proceeding 
might take place, and was not to be caught at a dis- 

,1 I had received a note a few days before, stating 
that one of M'Clellan's aides had informed a lady in 
* George Town that I was to be arrested, also that the 
name of the Honourable William Preston, U. S. Minis- 
ter Plenipotentiary to Spain, who was at that time in 
■.Washington, stood in the proscribed list. He was 
.warned by me in time to effect Iris escape. 
i Meanwhile I was a prisoner in one of my own 
nparlonrs, not allowed to move, with stern eyes fixed ^ 
upon my face, to read certainly what they did not 
i find ; for, although agonising anxieties filled my 
soul, I was apparently careless and sarcastic, and, I 
^know, tantahsing in the extreme. My servants were 
subjected to the same surveillance, and were not 
allowed to approach me. 

Every effort was made to keep my arrest a secret. 
:My house externally was quiet as usual ; three sides 
.of it, being surrounded by a high wall, screened the 
•[guard from observation. It was considered the head- 
quarters of the Secessionists, and I being regarded as 
'.the head of the conspirators at Washington, a rich j 
jhaul was anticipated. They reckoned without their 
-host this time. 


In despite of all their wisely taken precautions, 
the news of my arrest rapidly spread. At eleven 
o'clock I was taken prisoner — at about three o'clock 
my young friend Miss Mackall, and her sister, came 
to make enquiries ; she had heard it in the 
city. As she entered she was rudely seized by the 
detective, who stood concealed behind the door, and 
pushed forward, as was also her sister. They were 
terrified at the siorht of the rude lawless men who 


were in possession of my once peaceful quiet home. 
The dear, brave-hearted girl put her head on my 
shoulder and wept, for she said, ' I did not know 
what they had done with you.' I whispered, ' Oh, be 
courageous, for we must outwit these fiends.' 

But before I had succeeded in completely reassuring 
her, the detective called Captain Dennis approached, 
and in a loud authoritative voice demanded her 
name and residence, as well as that of her sister. 
We were all, after this; ordered to return to the 
back parlour, under escort of this Captain Dennis, 
whose duty for the time was to watch me. 

The work of examining my papers had already 
commenced. It was indeed a hard struggle to 
remain a quiet spectator of this proceeding, but I 
nevertheless nerved myself to the task, as my object 
was to throw the detectives off their guard. I had 


10 fear of consequences from the papers which had 
is yet fallen into their hands. I had a right to my 
own political opinions, and to discuss the question at 
ssue, and never shrank from the avowal of my sen- 
irnents. I am a Southern woman, born with revo- 
utionary blood in my veins, and my first crude ideas 
>n State and Federal matters received consistency 
md shape from the best and wisest man of this 
:entury, John C. Calhoun. These ideas have been 
trengthened and matured by reading and observa- 
tion. Freedom of speech and of thought were my 
'•irthrights, guaranteed by our charter of liberty, 
he Constitution of the United States, and signed and 
ealed by the blood of our fathers. 

Mr. Calhoun had been the intimate friend of my ) 
tusband, and often our guest, having remained 
everal months at a time with us during his sena- 
torial sojourn at Washington. 

For many years, I had been honoured by a cor- 
espondence with him, and it was my privilege to 
it by his bedside and minister to his wants during 
uis last illness, and to treasure in my heart his words 
if wisdom ; and when he died, I followed his remains, 
! s one of his children, to his last resting-place — the 
senatorial Committee of Arrangements, of which our 
ionoured Commissioner to England, Mr. Mason, 


was one, having assigned me that position in th 
solemn pageant. Mr. Webster walked by my sid 
as we turned from the tomb, and, with tears tricklim 
down his face, made use of these words : ' One c 
earth's princes hath departed — the purest, best, am 
greatest man I ever knew ! He was a Eoma 
senator when Eome was.' The same expression h 
had used in his eloquent oration of the mornim 
Mr. Clay, in his eulogy upon him in the Senate a, 
the same time, said, ' He was my senior in everythin 
but years.' 

After the examination of my papers by Seymoui 
the most respectable and the only educated ma 
amongst those detectives, he said, ' Well, madan 
you have no reason to feel anything but pride an 
satisfaction at the ordeal you have gone ' througl 
for there is not a line amongst your papers that doc 
not do you honour. It is the most extensive privat 
correspondence that has ever fallen under my e^ 
amination, and the most interesting and important 
there is not a distinguished name in America that 
not found here. There is nothing that can com 
under the charge of treason, but enough to mak 
the Government dread and hold you as a mo 
dangerous adversary.' 

But to return to the sad relation of my wrong 


1 The search still went on. I desired to go to my 
\ chamber, and was told that a woman was sent for 
1 to accompany me. It did not even then flash upon 
1 my mind that my person was to be searched. I 
was, however, all the more anxious to be free from 
the sight of my captors for a few moments ; so, 
feigning the pretext of change of dress, &c, as the 
•day was intensely hot, after great difficulty, and 
; thanks to the slow movements of these agents of 
[l evil, I was allowed to go to my chamber, and then 
resolved to accomplish the destruction of some 
1 important papers which I had in my pocket, even ) 
at the expense of life. (The papers were my cipher, 
•with which I corresponded with my friends at 
Manassas, and others of equal importance.) Hap- 
pily I succeeded without such a fearful sacrifice. 

The detective Dennis little dreamed that a few 
paces only stood between him and eternity. He 
-rapped at my door, calling ' Madam ! madam ! ' and 
afterwards opened it, but seeing me apparently 
legitimately employed, he withdrew. Had he ad- v 
fcvanced one step, I should have killed him, as I 
iraised my revolver with that intent ; and so steady 
were my nerves, that I could have balanced a glass 
of water on my finger without spilling a drop. 

Shortly after the female detective arrived. I blush \ 


that the name and character of woman should be 
prostituted. But she was certainly not above hcj 
honourable calling. Her image is daguerreotyp 
on my mind, and as it is an ugly picture, I wou 
willingly obliterate it. As is usual with fema 
employed in this way, she was decently arrayed, 
if to impress me with her respectability. Her fa 
reminded me of one of those india-rubber dol 
whose expression is made by squeezing it, wil 
weak grey eyes which had a faculty of weepin 
Like all the detectives, she had only a Christi; 
name, Ellen. I began to think that the who 
foundling hospital had been let loose for r 

Well, I was ushered into my chamber, a detecti 
standing on guard outside of the door to receive tl 
important documents believed to be secreted on n 
person — nothing less, I suppose, than a commissi 
of Brigadier-General from President Davis, upc 
the principle that, whereas President Lincoln h 
conferred that distinguished grade upon many w 
deserved to be old women, President Davis hi 
with characteristic acuteness, discovered qualities 
a woman equally entitled to reward. 

I was allowed the poor privilege of unfasteni 
my own garments, which, one by one, were receiv 


by this pseudo-woman and carefully examined, until 
I stood in my linen. After this, I was permitted to 
resume them, with the detectress as my tire-woman. 
During all this time, I was cool and self-possessed. 
I had resolved to go through the trying ordeal with 
as little triumph to my persecutors as possible. I 
had already taken the resolution to fire the house 
from garret to cellar, if I did not succeed in de- 
stroying certain papers in the course of the ap- 
proaching night ; for I had no hope that they would 
escape a second day's search. My manner was there- 
fore assumed to cover my intentions. I was also 
sustained by the conscious rectitude of my purpose, 
and the high and holy cause to which I had de- 
voted my life. I felt that a people struggling to 
maintain their rights and to transmit unimpaired to 
their children the glorious heritage of revolutionary 
i i fathers, was under the protection of that Divine 
overruling Providence, which could carry me un- 
scathed across the burning plough-shares spread 
A for my destruction. With this conviction in my 
m soul, I resigned myself to the law of the strongest, 
for I knew not what further trials were in store 
for me. 
aii The orders were to entrap everybody who called 
; 1Vl at my house. Miss Mackall and her sister were 



already in durance. Mrs. Mackall, who came in pur 
suit of her children, was seized and detained, as also 
several other casual visitors. I know not, in fact 
how many were taken into custody, for, as the 
evening advanced, I was ordered upstairs, accom- 
panied by my friends, a heavy guard of detectives 
being stationed in the rooms with us. 

A little later I had reason to regard it as a signal 
act of Divine mercy that those friends were sent me 
As I have said, it was believed that all the Secession- 
ists in the city were in communication with me, so 
everyone who called, black or white, was viewed as aE 
emissary ; a former man-servant of mine, and his 
sister, in passing the house, were made prisoners, 
The man was confined below stairs, and the youm 
girl taken into the parlour, with only those bruta 
men as her companions. I was not aware of her beina 
in the house until startled by a smothered scream. M3 
first idea was that some insult had been offered t<^ 
my maid, but, being satisfied on that point, I tried t( 
believe that my sense of hearing had deceived me 
Still, I could not divest myself of the horrible fear 
and after a while succeeded in sending some on 
down. The girl was found in a state of great alarm 
from the rudeness to which she had been exposed 
and was sent below to her brother ; and I now begai 


fully to realise the dark and gloomy perils wliicli 
environed me. 

The chiefs of the detectives having gone out, 
several of the subordinates left in charge now pos- 
sessed themselves of rum and brandy, which aided 
m developing their brutal instincts ; and they even 
boasted, in my hearing, of the '•nice times' 1 they 
'expected to have with the female prisoners. 
- As every evil is said to be checkmated by some 
^corresponding good, I was enabled by this means to \ 
'destroy every paper of consequence. I had placed 
i&hem where they could be found by me at any hour of 
-the day or night, and was not slow to avail myself of 
?:he state of inebriation in which the guards were 
plunged. Stealing noiselessly to the library in the 
'dark, I mounted up to the topmost shelf, took from 
[t;he leaves of a dusty folio papers of immense value ' 
jio me at that moment, concealing them in the 
p bids of my dress, and returned to my position on the 
jOecl without my gaolers having' missed me. The 
(papers were much more numerous than I imagined, 
Hind the difficulty was how to dispose of them. 
L'The chance of my friends being searched on going 
tf)ut (as they were assured they should do) at three 
i 'tl'clock, made me hesitate as to that method. I 
\ remembered, however, that, in the search of my 



person in the morning, my boots and stockings 
had not been removed ; so Miss Mackall concealed 
the papers in her stockings and boots. This pro- 
ceeding of course occupied some time, but it wae 
noiselessly accomplished in the presence of the guard. 
It was agreed between Miss Mackall and myself, 
that if, after leaving my room, she learned that her 
person would be searched, she should be seized with 
compunction at leaving me, and return to share the 
honours of the conflagration. 

It is proper here to state that the mother of Mis.s 
Mackall was not cognisant of this, or any other cir- 
cumstance calculated to have involved her in the 
difficulties surroundino; me. 

The guard, meanwhile, all unconsciously continued, 
their conversation, which, under the influence of thq 
ardent spirits they had imbibed, became heated and 
angry. I exerted myself to promote the discussion, 
and arrayed their different nationalities one against 
the other — they were English, German, Irish, and 

I reasoned that so unusual a circumstance as men 

* Two of the most insolent of these men — an Englishman namec 
Lewis, and an Irishman named Scully — were, some time after 
apprehended in Eichmond as spies, and condemned to death. Oi 
my arrival there they wrote to me to petition my intervention id 
their behalf. 


wrangling in my house would warn my friends of 
the existence of an extraordinary state of things. It 
'was a clear moonlight night, and fear, like death, 
had hushed every sound in that section of the city. 
It was a judicious conclusion, as I subsequently 

I must here record a circumstance which will 2ro 
'far to prove that a certain gentleman in black does 
1 not always take care of his own. The chief detective, 
Allen, having gone out on some other errand of mis- 
chief, on returning about nine o'clock encountered 
[,a gentleman who was at that time Provost-Marshal 
J of the city, and who was about to call to make a 
visit at my house. Allen, being ignorant of or dis- 
regarding his official position, attempted to arrest 

him. He ran, pursued by Allen, until he reached 

the Provost's quarters, when, ordering out his guard, 
'he arrested Allen, and held him in close confinement 

until the next morning, regardless of his oaths, or 
%is prayers to be allowed to send a message to 

Lincoln, or Seward, or M'Clellan. By these indirect 
'means Providence seems to have watched over and 

iverted destruction from me. 
Between the hours of three and four, on the 

norning of the 24th, my friends were permitted to 

depart, under escort of a detective guard, who were 

r 2 


stationed around their houses for the following 

After this I was allowed to snatch a few hours of 
repose, much needed after the mental and bodily 
fatigue of that most trying day. But I must also 
state that the two doors leading into my chamber 
were kept open, with a guard stationed inside of 

On the morning of the 24th, at about eleven 
o'clock, my friend Miss Mackall, much to the sur- 
prise of the Yankee detective police, returned, and 
for several weeks shared my imprisonment. 

For seven days my house remained in charge of 
the detective police, the search continuing through- 
out all that time, as also the examination of my 
papers and correspondence. The books in the 
library were all taken down and examined leaf by 
leaf. There would have been some wisdom in this 
the first day. Several large boxes, containing books, 
china, and glass, which had been packed for several 
\ months, were subjected to the like ordeal. Finally, 
portions of the furniture were taken apart, and 
even the pictures on the walls received their share of 
attention also. My beds even were upturned many 
times, as some new idea would seize them. 

I now watched their clumsy proceedings free 


.from anxiety, as I had, under their own eyes, sent 
off or destroyed all my papers of value. 
t The search still went on. My powers of observation 
f became quickened to a degree which would have 
tmade me a valuable auxiliary to the honourable 
fbody, to whose care the Abolition Government had 
1 confided the lives and honour of helpless women 
and children. 

f Seemingly I was treated with deference. Once 
-only were violent hands put upon my person — the 
1 detective, Captain Dennis, having rudely seized me to 
! prevent my giving warning to a lady and gentleman, 
W the first evening of my arrest (which I, however, 
succeeded in doing), and as the birds escaped his 
-snare, his rage grew beyond bounds, and he seized 
-me with the spring of a tiger, and crushed my poor 
'arm, which long bore the marks of the brutal out- 
rage. The story of the hapless Queen of Scots was 
oaost feelingly called to my recollection. A strong 
effort was afterwards made to drive this from my 
mind, as if aught but the life's blood of the dastard 
xnrid efface it. 

My orders were asked for my meals, which I 
aumoured as one of the necessities of my situation. 
But Lily and I were like the Siamese twins, insepa- 
rable. My pistol had been taken from me, and I 


had no means of defence, and for the first time in my 
life I was exposed to the dread of personal violence. 

I had, however, the satisfaction, after a few days, of 
perceiving that even my lawless captors were rebuked 
into more quiet and reserve before me, although 
they still presumed to seat themselves at table with 
me, with unwashed hands, and shirt-sleeves. 

The tactics of my gaolers changed many times. 
Occasionally, it seemed that my confinement was 
only nominal ; all this, of course, was to throw me 
off my guard. The subordinates threw themselves 
in my way, as if disgusted with the task assigned 
them, and, with hearts overflowing with kindness^ 
and hands ready to be bribed, discoursed most fluently 
upon the outrage committed in my arrest. 

Two deserve especial notice. One was a burly 
Irishman, with smooth tongue, professing the religion 
of my ancestors, that of the Holy Catholic faith. He 
marvelled that so noble a lady should have been 
treated as a common malefactor ; and, by way of still 
further showing his sympathy, he set himself to the 
task of making love to my maid, hoping by this 
means to possess himself of the important State 
secrets of which he believed her to be the repository. 
Sentimental walks, and treats at confectionaries at 
Uncle Sam's expense, were a part of the programme. 


She, Lizzy Fitzgerald, a quick-witted Irish girl, 
warmly attached to me as a kind mistress, and know- 
ing nothing which the severest scrutiny could elicit 
Uo my disadvantage, entered keenly into the sport, 
and, to use her own expressive words, ' led Pat a 
I dance,' and, under these new auspices, performed 
some very important missions for me. 
1 The other, a canny Scotchman, whom they called 
i Robert, expatiated, with tears in his eyes, upon i the 
^sublime fortitude' I had exhibited on this my moral 
gridiron ; and, seeking still further to commemorate 
:!the meek and lowly grace with which I had borne 
* myself, asked me to present him with M'Clellan's 
[report on the Crimea, with my autograph, for, he 
said, ' Madam,' choked with emotion, ' there is no 
telling what may happen ; and I would like to look 
iat your name, and know that you had forgiven me.' 
His manner was touchingly pathetic, and very like 
i what I should suppose Jack Ketch's to be, on asking 
(for the black cap after all was over. These two 
men offered to take letters for me. 

I learned, incidentally, that the Provost-Marshal's 
; office was kept on the qui vive by the daily report of 
fthese proceedings, from which important results were 
(expected to be derived. 

During all this time I was never alone for a moment. 


Wherever I went a detective followed me. If I 
wished to he down, he was seated a few paces from 
my bed. If I desired to change my dress, or any- 
thing else, it was obliged to be done with open doors, 
and a man peering in at me. That every sense of 
delicacy recoiled from this indecent exposure may 
well be imagined. But, alas ! I had no alter- 
native but to submit, for, when I remonstrated 
with the detective, Captain Dennis, I was met 
by the answer that it was the order of the 
"Provost-Marshal, and that I was indebted to him 
that more disgusting severity had not been enforced. 
General Mansfield had been superseded in the 
position of Provost-Marshal of the district of Colum- 
bia by Brigadier Andrew J. Porter, who was far 
more congenial, in his character and acquirements, 
with the Satrap and his minions, and not likely to 
entertain any conscientious scruples in the per- 
formance of any duty which might be assigned to 
him ; and who seemed to have been equally fortunate 
in the selection of his own principal police-officer, 
Captain Averil, of the U.S.A., whose genius certainly 
lay in his new line of duty. He was ever on the 
alert to discover some new persecution for the unfor- 
tunates within his power, in order to testify his zeal 
and fidelity. 





Meanwhile, ray private papers and letters were 
(Still under the process of examination, and were 
divided off into parcels, marked ' highly important,' 
' political,' ' legal,' &c. according to the perceptive 
faculty of the examining parties, and borne off to the 
LiWar Department. 

There was one paper amongst them which I ven- 
ture to assert will never be brought to light. It was 
a full and detailed account, so far as could be col- 
lected, of the appalling attempt of the Abolition 
party to poison President Buchanan, and the chiefs 


of the Democratic party, in Washington, at the Na 
tional Hotel, a few days prior to the inauguration 
of President Buchanan. 

This diabolical scheme was very near accomplish- 
ment, so far as regarded the life of President 
Buchanan, who was for a long time in a very critical 
condition, and it was only by the use of powerful 
stimulants that his constitution rallied from the effects 
of the poison. He told me that often during the 
day at this time he was obliged to drink several 
tumblers of unadulterated brandy, to keep himselt 
from entire physical exhaustion. 

This created great commotion in Washington, and 
various efforts were made to account for it in a 
natural way. One story was, that the rats, which 
were very troublesome, had been poisoned, and that 
they had fallen into the tanks which supplied the' 
hotel with water. But the corporate authorities took 
the matter in hand, and instituted a very thorough 1 
examination ; the tanks were all emptied of water; 
and no rats could be found ; the sewers under 
and leading through the town were also opened, 
to see if any poisonous exhalations could come 
from them ; and the corporation reported that 
there was no local cause for the epidemic. Every- 
body fled from the plague-stricken spot; and the 


hotel, which was one of the largest in the city, 
/was closed. 

At the same time, information of a very important 
character came to the knowledge of the authorities. 
fjA druggist of Philadelphia wrote to the Attorney- 
General (Caleb dishing), at Washington, that, in his 
absence, an order had been received and filled by 
{One of his subordinates for thirty pounds of 
3 arsenic, to be sent to Washington ; that so unusual a 
quantity had excited his alarm; that, upon further 
enquiry, he learned that the express charge had been 
prepaid at Philadelphia for its transportation, which 
was likewise unusual. It was also found that the 
package had reached Washington by Adams & Co. ? s 
Express, and had been called for and received by 
some unknown party. To show the pertinacity with 
j which the plot was followed up, Congress had made 
an appropriation for a Major-Domo of the White 
JHouse, with a salary of $1,200. The person who 
■jihad charge of Mr. Buchanan's rooms at the National 
was the applicant for the post, and was on the eve of 
receiving the appointment, when a gentleman from 
LNew York, arrived in post haste, in the night, 
roused up the private secretary of the President, and 
gave him information of importance. The applicant 
for the place of Major-Domo of the White House, 


after tins, did not again present himself, but disap- 
peared from the city. 

Judge Black, the Attorney-General of the United 
States, under Mr. Buchanan, whose statements cor- 
roborated the above information, told me also that 
he had obtained a clue to the whole plot, but that 
Mr. Buchanan would not allow the affair to be 
pursued, because of the startling facts it would lay 
open to the world, and that he shrank from the 
terrible exposure. 

I considered it a great weakness on his part to 
have forbidden the investigation, as it might have 
averted the John Brown raid, and many other acts 
of the ' Irrepressible Conflict ' party. Between fifty 
and sixty persons fell victims to this wholesale 
poisoning experiment. 

A very large sum had been offered for my 
cipher. This extraordinary sum had stimulated the 
zeal of the employes of the Government to a very 
remarkable degree. I had, of course, too much 
control over myself to afford any indication of my 
knowledge of what they were seeking, but affected 
ignorance and unconcern. 

The tables were filled with fragments of old 
letters, and scraps in cipher, in several languages, 
from early morn till late at night. For seven days 


,;hey puzzled over them. I had no fear. One by 
>ne they had allowed the clue to escape them, and 
ibr what remained Champollion himself would have 
required a key. Only once was I frightened. Miss 
iVEackall, who, like myself, was always on the alert, 
abstracted from a heap of papers a sheet of blotting- 
j)aper, upon which w_as__the whole of my despatch to 
/Manassas on July 16 — another evidence that Pro- 
vidence watched over me as an humble instrument 
a a glorious cause. 

] I was at this time kept perfectly well posted with 
egard to matters outside, and sometimes received 
valuable information through the inadvertent con- 
versation of my gaolers. I had been already notified 
hat several of my despatches had been betrayed 
ito Seward's hands by a spy of the name of 
Lpplegate ; that a Cabinet Council had been 
onvened, assisted by Scott and M'Clellan ; and that 
3veral Eepublican officials had been summoned, 
mongst the number Wilson of Massachusetts, as 
^:eing implicated by my information. The despatches 
reatecl consternation. The whole Abolition Govern- 
lent were at this time shaking with fear of the 
pdvance of our glorious army, and their children 
ere even hushed to sleep with the cry, ' Jeff. Davis 


I had deemed it important that the political 
intrigues then going on at Washington should be 
clearly understood by the Confederate Government ; 
and as I might almost be said to have assisted at! 
Lincoln's Cabinet Councils, from the facilities I 
enjoyed, having verbatim reports of them as well as 
of the Eepubhcan caucus, I was thoroughly com- 
petent to the task of giving a faithful synopsis of 
their deliberations. 

One of the despatches referred to was a long 
letter to President Davis, describing in detail 
the intrigues to get rid of Scott by the temporary 
elevation of M'Clellan, in which was repeated 
a conversation I had held with several members 
of the 'New York press, as an indication of the 
temper of the times, upon a proposition they 
had under discussion, of uniting to dethrone Seward 
and Cameron, and the reasons pro and con, 
for leaving Seward where he was ; that his time- 
serving policy was less conducive to unity and 
strength ; that he would never inaugurate any nev 
measures ; that if the faction which seemed stronger 
cried for the abolition of slavery, or renewed 
guarantees for its protection, he would lend himsel 
to it, or to anything else which could tend to hi; 
advancement ; that his genius lay in his faculty o; 


drawing to himself all the advantages of any suc- 
cessful measure, and of shuffling out of the way of 
an unpopular one ; that Bennett, of the ' New York 
(Herald,' had understood him perfectly, and had said 
of him, in reply to my remark that ' Seward was the 
only statesman amongst the Black Kepublican party,' 
| He has not the first principle of a statesman : lie 
\\s a miserable political charlatan, and has been the 
idvocate of every unconstitutional measure in this 
State from Anti-rentism clown to Abolitionism. He 
\has not blood enough in him to entertain an honest 
opinion on any subject, but wishes to be a great 
man, and will truckle to anything for power ; ' that 
he Chevalier Wikoff had gone to Seward and 
repeated to him some portion of this conversation, 
rkiid that he (Seward) had reddened to the roots of 
lis hair, but had appointed an hour to receive him, 
or the discussing certain propositions he had 
^o make on the part of the New York press, on 
he peace question : that the Chevalier, after this 
conversation, came to me and proposed that I should 
. 4ve him a safe-conduct to General Beauregard, 
jidth a recommendation that he would forward him 
p Eichmond, from which city he could write a 
^ 'eace letter : that Mr. Seward favoured the idea, 
le then said, ' Suppose you go to Manassas, and let 


me go under your protection.' I said, ' That would 
be impossible.' He replied quickly, 4 OA/ I have 
arranged all that with Seward.'' I said, ' You 
misunderstand me : your reputation is so bad, 
that no lady would travel in your company.' 
That, unabashed by this, he then said, ' But will you 
give me a letter which will take me through to 
Richmond ? I will be willing to go blindfold, and be 
'put in a cage after I get there, so that I may write 
the letter.'' To which I replied, ' I have no authority 
to grant your request, and, so far from giving you 
facilities for carrying out your wishes, I should con- 
sider President Davis derelict in his duty if he did not 
cause any man to be hanged who would do what 
you propose ; ' that peace now, upon any other 
basis than separate independence, was out of the 
question ; and that, if he had any desire to aid in 
the accomplishment of that desirable end, he had 
better, through the New York papers, endeavour to 
enlighten the minds of the people on the subject; 
that we of the South had been driven to draw the 
sword in self-defence, &c. I told of Cameron's 
peculations, which were not then generally known — 
of M'Clellan's plans for reorganising the army — in 
short, of all that was proposed, or being done by the 


The second despatch was entirely in cipher, but \ 
contained duplicate drawings of some fortifications ) 
tad weak points, which they complimented as being 
ipqual to those of their best engineers — as well they 
-night ; besides information of importance, in case 
our army advanced on Washington. My letter was 
Pronounced ' a very able production.' I had at 
feast the satisfaction of knowing that Lincoln and 
die assembled wisdom of Abolitionism did justice to 
fee zeal with which a Southern woman executed 
ler patriotic duty. 

Their fears elevated me to a most dangerous 
minence, and they deliberated whether I should ) 
Lot be publicly tried for treason, and made an 
Example of. The effort to obtain my cipher was 
fyith the hope of establishing direct evidence against 
ie, such as would be available in court upon a 
iiiblic trial, and as a justification to the world for 
%eir extraordinary proceedings, for which there had 
een no precedent, in a civilised age> save in France 
during the Revolution. v 

My social position was such, that they did not dare / 
)llow out the suggestions of their first excited con- 


iltations in disposing of me ; for in their own ranks 
had many devoted friends, who openly expressed v 
leir admiration of the position I took under the 



circumstances of danger and difficulty which envi 
roned me. 

Mr. Davis directed me, in a despatch receive* 
at this time, to give up the cipher, if I coulc 
thereby obtain any advantage. This discretion 
ary instruction of the President left me free t< 
follow my own judgment, and destroy it, for reason 
vital to me, and fraught with hazard to other? 
actually engaged and still unsuspected. 

My despatches were all written and received at thi 
time under a nom de plume, and Yankee cunning an 
ingenuity had, even at this early day, exhausted itse 
in efforts to enveigle me into an admission or recoj. 
nition which would compromise me or my friend: 
They had had the infamy to circulate a report tha 
for a lame sum, I had engaged to desert m 
cause and betray my party. But I thank God tha 
they did not succeed in shaking the confidence of m 
friends, which was an important object. 

That I could have made my own terms with thei 
can easily be seen from the importance they attachq 
to my capture. They had the effrontery to insinual 
to me, through their subordinates, that a ' yracefi 
concession ' on my part would be most cheerful- 
responded to by the Government. And when 
replied that if this was in furtherance of the repo 


they had set in circulation — an attempt to bribe me — 

my only response would be that, for weal or woe, 

I had cast my lot as God and nature directed, 

'and that their whole bankrupt treasury could 

'not tempt me to betray the meanest agent of our 

'cause. I was asked if I knew that my life was in 

'danger, and that probably, to save my neck, I might 

'answer differently, to which I replied that the life 

of any one is in danger when in the power 

[^of lawless scoundrels. Beyond that I had no fears, 

for their own cowardice protected me, as they knew 

•ample retaliation would follow an attempt on my 


On Thursday, the 29th, the Yankee Government 
went through the farce of offering to hire my house 
and furniture. I asked to be allowed to see a lawyer 
Hot consultation, and was told that they would not 
f grant me that right. I then answered that, as a 
prisoner, I was not competent to any legal act, and 
that I declined all negotiations with them ; that 
they had already ruined, and destroyed, and stolen 
'all that I valued in the house, and that they might 
ontinue to hold it by the same lawless tenure — that 
3f brute force — as I would not become a party to my 
own robbery. This I said to Quartermaster Howard, 
"who came on the part of the Government, and, to 


do him justice, he appeared heartily ashamed of his 

General Butler was with Cameron and other offi- 
cials, in the Provost-Marshal's Office, when Captain 
Howard went to report the result of his mission, 
which he did in terms complimentary to me, coupled 
with the remark ' that he felt like tearing the straps 
from his shoulders, from a sense of mortification at 
the part he was forced to play as he stood before the 
noble woman.' Butler said, ' If the Government will 
take my advice, and consign that haughty dame to 
my care at Fortress Monroe, I warrant to put her 
through an ordeal which will no longer endanger 
the loyalty of our officers,' &c. &c. 

Verily, a Roman tyrant made a consul of his horse, 
but Lincoln has exceeded him in enormity by making 
of Butler the beast a military governor. ' 

My object in seeing a lawyer was of course not 
with the idle hope of protecting my property. But 
up to this time the habeas corpus had not been sus- 
pended, and I wished to force the issue between the 
civil and military authorities, as a means possibly of 
arresting the coming evils. I was informed by the 
man Allen that I knew my rights too well, and that 
the Government did not intend to afford me the 
means of asserting them. 


I did, however, in spite of their vigilance, succeed 
in sending a message and note to Judge Black (late 
Attorney- General of the United States) and to the 
Honourable E. J. Walker, requesting them to call 
upon me. But those grave legal gentlemen, influenced 
iby prudential considerations, or sympathy with the 
.inquisitorial hierarchy, gave no heed to my request, 
and I was thus left in the hands of an unscrupulous 
Running enemy, with only my own judgment to 
guide me. 

I, To show the utter recklessness of the Abolition 
j, Government, and the extraordinary means they tem- 
porarily resorted to, to infuse valour into their de- 
noralised ranks, it was now authoritatively published 
hat our great and good President had died in Eich- 
,nond a few weeks after the battle of Manassas. He 
vas said to have died of a slow fever, brought on by 
great mental anxiet} T , and compunction at the share 
ie was supposed to have had in bringing about the 
evolution ; that he had breathed his last sigh at 
t wenty minutes to six in the morning ; that his attend- 
ing physicians and family and friends were present ; 
hat his mind was clear, and that he solemnly ex- 
ported his friends to renew their allegiance to the 
Jnitecl States, and to do all in their power to put 
Lown the revolution. The flags were reported to 


be at half-mast at Arlington Heights, Manassas, and 
all other points in our possession, and that minute 
guns were fired during the day. This account went 
through the whole North, and was the cause of im- 
mense rejoicing, for our President had filled them 
with fear and dread, in proportion to the confidence 
and veneration with which he had inspired every 

On Friday morning, the 30th of August, I was! 
informed that other prisoners were to be brought in, 
and that my house was to be converted into a prison, 
jr I and that Miss Mackall and myself, and little girl and 
servant, were to be confined in one room. After 
considerable difficulty and consultation with the Secre- 
tary of War, another small room was allowed for my 
child and maid, with the restriction, however, that: 
I should not go into it, as it was a front room, with 
a window on the street. Subsequently my library 
was also allotted to me. 

My parlours were stripped of their furniture, which 
was conveyed into the chamber for the use of the 
prisoners. By this time I had become perfectly 
callous. Everything showed signs of the containing 
nation. Those unkempt, unwashed wretches — the 
detective police — had rolled themselves in my fine 
linen ; their mark was visible upon every chair anc 


ofa. Even the chamber in which one of my child- 
en had died only a few months before, and the bed 
hn which she lay in her winding-sheet, had been 
desecrated by these emissaries of Lincoln, and the 
carious articles of bijouterie, which lay on her toilet 
| she had left them, were borne off as rightful spoils. 
|yery hallowed association with my home had been 
udely blasted — my castle had become my prison, 
me law of the land had been supplanted by the higher 
aw of the Abolition despot, and I could only say, 
Lord, how long will this iniquity be permitted ? ' 
But I stray from my story. Soon armed men 
rilled the house, the clank of whose muskets resounded 
through it like the voice of doom. I was confined 
10 my chamber, at the door of which two soldiers 
tood, musket in hand. 

The commotion below told me that other prisoners 
;vere arriving. They were the Philips family — Mrs. \ 
philips, and her two oldest daughters, and her sister "v**" 
iiiss Levi. A silent greeting, en passant, was all we 
/ere allowed to exchange. These ladies had been 
;rrested the clay after I was, and were subjected to 
ae like, if not greater indignities, from which the 
Presence of the husband and the father could not 
protect them; and now they were dragged from 
iheir own homes, the mother from her little children, 


several of whom were infants of tender age ; her 
house ransacked, her papers overhauled, without 
finding anything to base even a suspicion upon — 
the only circumstance against her really being, that 
she was a Southern woman, and a lady, scorning 
association with the ' mudsills ' whom the upheav- 
ing; of the revolution had brought to the surface of 

Another prisoner was to be conlined in the room 

(adjoining mine. A heavy bar of wood had been 
nailed across the door between, so as to prevent all 
communication. She was brought in late at night ; 
her deep and convulsed' sobs broke on the stillness of 
the hour. I sat by the door, and heard the officer 
in charge call her name. It was Mrs. Hasler, of 
whom I had some previous knowledge ; but, had she 
been a stranger, her hapless lot would have esta- 
blished a claim to my sympathy. 

I had sent to this person's house, the night of m\ 
arrest, to warn her, but found her house already in 
charge of soldiers, and my messenger barely escapee 
arrest. I was, of course, intensely anxious to let hei 
know that she was in my house, and to communicate 
with her. She had been accredited to me as a reli- 
able messenger by Colonel Jorden ; had successfully 
served in that capacity several times ; and it was 


through her means (most innocently, however) that 
[my despatches had been betrayed into the hands of 
the Government. Special care was taken to prevent 
this prisoner and myself from communicating, as 
they hoped through her to establish direct evidence 
against me. The morning after her arrival I 
diverted the attention of the guard, whilst Miss 
Mackall slipped into her room, and warned her to 
jjdeny all knowledge of me — which was, however, 
(limited to the fact of her having been an agent of 
[communication . 

Poor woman ! she had been most infamously used 
, — dragged from her own lodgings to a station-house, 

I CO O o ' 

where she had been kept for a whole week, lying on 
^a dirty straw-bed, without sheets or pillow, amidst 
,the lowest and most disgusting class of the com- 
imunity ; and her nervous system had been completely 
shattered by it. 

J All intercourse between the prisoners was inter- 
dicted. Had we been adjudged to the condemned 
cell more rigorous measures could not have been 

Miss Mackall was allowed to see her mother and 

;lsisters only in the presence of an officer. Intercourse 

thus restricted afforded but little pleasure. Still, it 

was a link between us and the outer world, which 


had not been appreciated at its full value until we 
were deprived of it. 

It must not be supposed that I have related all the 
incidents which occurred in these first days. Under 
the eyes of the detective police I had received and 
answered despatches from my friends. Amongst 
them had been the order from my President to give 
up my cipher, upon specified contingencies. I am 
restrained, by prudential considerations, from men- 
tioning many, and Af here the parties only escaped by 
the stupidity of my gaolers. 

The efforts of the Black Republicans had been 
persistently to make the term Secessionist one of dis- 
grace and reproach, and although they had with 
great assiduity courted the few Southern families 
who remained, there was no language too coarse for 
them to use in describing Secessionists — always, of 
course, assuming that the person addressed had too 
much self-respect to be thus classified. Every social 
element was brought to bear against the unhappy 
Southerner ; ties of blood and kindred were arrayed 
in dread hostility, those who remained upon the 
Abolition side affecting to think that their family 
escutcheons had been tarnished by the misguided 
members who advocated the Southern cause, and 
.constitutional liberty. Xo one suffered in this respect 


nore than myself, for many members of my imme- 
diate family sided with the despot, and held high 
official position under him. 

The detective police, who had hitherto had charge 
|)f me, now gave place to the military guard selected 
jxom one of the volunteer companies — the Sturgis 
Rifles, who hitherto constituted M'Clellan's body- 
guard. A lieutenant and twenty-one men were 
detailed for this valorous duty. 

The detective police, on resigning their charge, 
were very anxious that I should not be apprised of 
their true characters. They had assumed to be 
officers of the United States regular army, and 
deluded themselves with the idea that I had not 
discovered ' the wolf under the sheep's clothing.' My 
wish had been to foster this delusion by every means 
]in my power, as I thereby gained some advantages ; 
i and I very reluctantly allowed myself to be enlight- 
ened on the subject by some enthusiastic young 
-officers, who cherished the hallucination that honour 
istill lingered under the old livery of the United 
States. The officer in charge of my prison, Lieu- 
tenant Sheldon, was directed by Captain Averil, 
IfLS.A., chief of the Provost-Marshal's corps, to en- 
tourage me to write letters, which , were to be 
subjected to the inquisitorial examination. Of this 


fact I was, however, to be kept in ignorance. To the } 
honour of Lieutenant Sheldon, he did not lend him- 
self to the plot. I availed myself, however, of the 
privilege of writing, and have certainly to thank this 
most sagacious captain for having afforded me the 
means of communication. 

I was at this time seized with a taste for tapestry- 
work. The colours necessary for its prosecution 
came to me through the Provost-Marshal's Office, 
wound in balls, with simply a memorandum, by 
which I could always know the original arrange- 
ment of colours. I had made a vocabulary of 
colours, which, though not a very prolific language, 
served my purpose. My letters, above all things, 
puzzled these ' wise men of the East,' who finally 
came to the conclusion that, for a ' clever woman, 
Mrs. Greenhow wrote the greatest pack of trash that 
ivas ever read.'' 

By way of justifying this opinion, I will submit a 
specimen of my epistolary efforts : — 

' Tell Aunt Sally that I have some old shoes for 
the children, and I wish her to send some one down 
town to take them, and to let me know whether she 
has found any charitable person to help her to tak 
care of them.' My immediate correspondent was of 
course ignorant of the true meaning. But, carried 


'o that respectable old lady, ' Aunt Sally,' she read it 
'hus : — ' I have some important information to send 
'cross the river, and wish a messenger immediately. 
'lave you any means of getting reliable information ? ' 
1 Of course my versatility of mind was exercised to 
ary the style and character of these effusions, so. 
s not to attract attention to them, and I am glad to 
fate that in this effort I was eminently successful. 

Miss Mackall, although not a prisoner, was sub- 
jected to most of the restrictions in this house of 
"ondage, the freedom originally allowed her being, as 
1 rightly judged, for the purpose of ensnaring others, 
hese clumsy tricksters could not comprehend the 
icrifices which a woman will make in the per- 
tenance of a duty which commends itself alike to 
er judgment and feelings. I could have escaped 
le snare set for me, but I should thereby have 
one great injury to our cause. Few would 
ive ventured, after such an example of timidity, to 
rnish the necessary information, or encounter the 
ilium of being supposed to sympathise with the 

■ I felt it to be my post of duty whatever danger 

'reatened, and that I at least would cast no reproach 

>on my party in going through the trying ordeal ; 

-at every woman's heart, throughout the South, 


would make my cause their own ; and that, so fai 
from intimidating, the knowledge that one of then 
sex was suffering for the same faith, in th< 
prisons of the tyrant, would nerve the most timid t< 
deeds of daring. 

The idea of the Yankees at first was to hold m 
up conspicuously before the eyes of the public as i 
terrible example and a warning. In this they sig 
nally failed, for I became, even amongst their owi 
people, an object of interest. And one of their owi 
papers, the ' New York Times,' some months later 
said, ' Had Madam Greenhow been sent South im' 
mediately after her arrest, as we recommended, w< 
should have heard no more of the heroic deeds o' 
Secesh women, which she has made the fashion.' 

On the 7th of September my child was taken verj 
ill. In consequence I wrote to Provost-Marsha 
Porter, asking that my family physician might b< 
allowed to visit her. With characteristic humanit 
he refused, and proposed to send me one of his owi 
creatures, whom I declined to receive, preferring t< 
trust her life to the care of the o;ood Providene 
which had so often befriended me. 

A few days after, a Dr. Steward was introduced 
He was a vulgar, uneducated man, bedizened wit] 
enough gold-lace for three field-marshals; and en 


rdowed with a considerable degree of ' modest assur- 
ance.' He evidently expected, by affected bonhomie, 
to overcome my repugnance to his visits ; but he 
reckoned without his host, for, if my confessor had 
come to me under such auspices, I should think that 
jthe devil had been tampering with him, and refuse 
to receive him. 
I The routine of my prison-life was constantly varied 


iby some new device, on the part of my captors, to 
Lfebtain legal evidence against me. They had already 
isubjected me to an ordeal little short of the ' cele- 
brated question' of the Spanish Inquisition, by a total 
disregard of all the laws of decency. Every feeling 
of the woman had been shocked and outraged, and 
;hey now sought to act upon my nervous system, by 
lark insinuations and threats against my life and 
reputation. My papers had been examined with a 
ninuteness bordering upon the farcical. Letters 
were found from most of the gifted and great in our 
Southern land, whom they now branded as traitors ; 
f :opies of some of my own letters, also, both before 
did after Lincoln's ill-fated elevation, expressing in 
sarnest language my appreciation of the coming 
langers, and, in some instances, warning my corre- 
spondents to 'take time by the forelock.' These, 
lowever, added no link in the chain of evidence, but 


only served to magnify in their eyes my mental 
ability, and consequent capacity to injure them, and 
redouble their anxiety to convict me. 

The despatches already in their hands, and which 
had caused them to tremble even in the midst of 
their armed Hessians, at best would be but circum- 
stantial evidence against me ; and my connection with 
these even would have to be established upon the 
testimony of that double spy, Applegate, whom 
Cameron had sent in that capacity to Manassas, under 
the pretext of obtaining the body of his brother ; 
and this man I could have proved to have been in 
the pay of our army, and had furnished some valu- 
able information. 

Mr. Seward, in spite of the obfuscation of his per- 
ceptive faculties, retained enough of his ]egal acute- 
ness to kitow that, in so grave a matter as trial for 
treason, the charge must be sustained by two 
respectable witnesses, and that any case made out 
against me, upon the evidence before them, Avould 
have been dismissed from every court in Christendom 
I did not shrink from this trial ; and when repeatedly 
warned that it might take place, said, 'Let it come. 
I will claim the right to defend myself, and there 
will be rich revelations.' 

The Government having come to the sao;e conclu- 



ion that Mrs. Hasler was one of my agents, hoped, 
hrough her credulity or fears, to obtain additional 
estimony against me. With this object, the spy 
Ipplegate was brought to see her. She received 
lim with unsuspecting confidence, and drank in with 
(reedy ears his marvellous tales. He complained 
)itterly of having been searched and badly treated, ] 
)efore he was allowed to see her, and exhibited his 
torn hat in evidence. His great object, he said, was 
iO fall upon some plan of communicating with me, as 
le had information of importance for me, and asked 
ler if she could communicate. 

This programme had been all arranged at the 
^rovost-Marshal's by General Porter and his sub- 
ordinate knaves ; Captain Averil being entitled to 
..he suggestion of tearing the hat. 
i I had been warned of all this in advance, but had 
iOt thought it advisable to apprise Mrs. Hasler of it. 
t;ihe could not commit herself further to this man 
jhan she had already done ; neither had I any appre- 
ensions concerning myself, as she knew nothing, 
j aving simply acted as agent, on several occasions, 
cor the transmission of despatches, of the purport of 
finch she was as ignorant as the mail boy of the 
ontents of his bas;. 

It was proposed to confront this worthy agent 



with me, but his own fears rendered abortive every 
effort of this kind. He lived in mortal dread of his 
life, and when a friend of mine went to see him, in 
order to obtain for me some information, he found 1 
him double-locked in his room, with a pistol lying 
on either side of him. He soon after left the city, 
lest he should pay the penalty of his crimes.* 

This incident, as well as others which had 
preceded it, will convince the Abolitionists that,, 
although they held me in close confinement, my 
system of espionage was more perfect than their 

This Dr. Stewart was, I fancy, destined to be my 
bete noire. He said that he was ordered by Provosts 
Marshal Porter to make a daily inspection of my 
sanitary condition. His vanity was enlisted in this. 
He wished to be able to say, in the course of his 
morning rounds, ' I have just been to see the rebel 
prisoner Mrs. Greenhow, and she says so and so. 
I had no idea of permitting this, and therefore 
told him that I did not desire to receive his profes 
sional visits, as I was perfectly well, &c. He wrote 

* This man, Applegate, was subsequently chief of the detec 
live police at Memphis, where it is said he did a good business bj 
restoring to their masters, at 200 dollars per head, the negroei 
stolen by General Sherman, who was then, in command at thii 



'i prescription for Miss Mackall, in English, every 
vord of which was misspelt, and signed himself 

In Brigand Sargent* I laughingly mentioned the 

bircumstance of a physician's writing a prescription 
n other than Latin. By some means my remarks 
©ached him ; so, on the repetition of his visit on 
he following day, he addressed me with ' Good 
norning, Mistress Greenhow ; is there anything 

Materia Medico, can do for yon to-day ? ' Recalling 
orcibly to my mind the story of the Irishman : — 
IParlez-vous Franqais? — Oui. — Then lend me the 
oan of a gridiron.' 

I now told Materia Medica that his visits were 

intrusions on my privacy, offensive to me, and re- 

uested that they might be discontinued. It will 

ardly be credited that after this I should have been 

li| abject to the annoyance again. On the day suc- 
eeding he came in as usual, with unblushing 
(ffrontery, not even deigning to knock at my door. 
1 took no notice of him, but sent for Lieutenant 
Sheldon to take charge of my formal protest against 
he continuance of the outrage. This he did, making 
Iso verbal representations which relieved me from 
outlier sanitary inspection. 

* About this time a stable in the rear of my whilom 
ome — my prison — caught on fire, through the 

H 2 


neglect of some drunken soldiers by whom it was 
occupied. It created the wildest alarm ; the whole 
of the provost-guard, headed by Captain Averil, 
rushed to the scene of action, and surrounded the 
house. The following morning the Government or- 
gan contained an account of ' a very daring attempt 
at rescue of the rebel prisoners (with a diatribe 
against me personally), of so resolute and desperate 
a character that it had to be repulsed at the point or 
the bayonet.' 

This veracious statement was concluded by a high 
compliment to the intrepidity and courage of Captain 
Averil, for having defeated this imaginary effort to 
defraud justice, which was furnished, I was told, by 

Somewhere about the 8th of September, the 

Honourable Edwin M. Stanton, accompanied by 

Jud^e-Advocate Colonel Key, came to see Mm 

(Philips and family, to make arrangements for then 

^ being sent South on parole, which was effected i 

day or two afterwards. 

Mr. Stanton came also to see me. I had, of course 
no idea of the position he was subsequently to holt 
in the Abolition Cabinet ; neither had he at that time 
After some preliminary conversation, he asked m« 
what I had done to bring down the wrath of tli- 


Abolitionists upon my head. I answered, I had been 
jguilty of leze-majeste, and hence my incarceration ; 
in fact, that I knew not the charge, and, for the 
purpose of ascertaining it, and forcing the Govern- 
ment to a consideration of my case, I now wished 
( to employ him as my counsel, to obtain a writ of 
habeas corpus. 

This he declined, accompanied by expressions of 
aigh appreciation and proffer of service in any other 
way — to which I of course attached no value. I 
aad previously applied to Judge Black, Attorney- 
iijreneral under Mr. Buchanan, and to the Honourable 
,R. J. Walker, both of whom I had known intimately; 
md this last effort, convinced me that no Northern 
nan had the courage or the desire to attempt to 
j item the tide of Northern usurpation, which was 
destined to sweep like an avalanche over the land, 
destroying civil liberty, and establishing in its stead 
m irresponsible military despotism. 

I felt now that I was alone, and that the wall of 
eparation from my friends was each hour growing 
|?aore formidable. 

A new grievance was also put upon me. Miss 

|/[ackall, who up to this time had remained with 

ae, was, on the 25th of September, abruptly taken 

way, and all intercourse or communication with me 


interdicted. So rigid had become the rules that per- 
sons were warned, under penalty of arrest, from 
walking or driving by the prison. A police-officer 
dogged eternally poor Lily's footsteps, which so ) 
harassed and annoyed her, that she often prayed for 
the protection of her prison-life. 

Wearily and heavily now passed the days and 
weeks. Another plan was also adopted to reduce 
me to submission. My food, which up to this time, 
though plain and often uneatable, had been sufficiently 
abundant, was now so reduced in quantity and 
1 quality, as to be inadequate often to satisfy the crav- 
ings of hunger. My child, as well as myself, suffered 
greatly under this new infliction. I wrote to Pro- 
vost-Marshal Porter, protesting against this inhu- 
manity, but he turned a deaf ear to my remonstrance ; 
and my little Eose (who was allowed to play on the 
pavement, under escort of a guard) was often in 
debted to the kind friends who sent her food whilst 
there, that she should not cry herself to sleep from 

Those Yankee descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers 
had improved upon the ancestral practice of burn- 
ing and hanging and quartering their enemies, b^ 
quartering and starving theirs. 

An outrage was now perpetrated, more foul, more 


galling to me as a woman, than any which had 
preceded it. A woman of bacl^repnte, known and 
ecognised by several of the guard as such, having 
peen seen in the streets of Chicago in the exercise 
)f her vocation, calling herself Mrs. Onderdunk, was 
xrought to my house, and placed_in the chamber of 
ny deceased child adjoining mine. For what object 
£ know not, but this woman was allowed unrestricted 
intercourse with me, the order being given that our 
neals should be served together. Here again my 
[hanks are due to Lieutenant Sheldon ; for so soon as 
die character of the woman became known to him, 
tie restricted her to her apartment, in which she 
frequently received Mr. Frederick Seward, Under- 
secretary of State ; Mr. Webster, Private Secretary 
if the Secretary of State, and other persons officially 
onnected with the Government. 

It might have been supposed that my former 
ocial position, and that which members of my im- 
mediate family still held in the Federal city, would 
tave protected me from this attempt to degrade me. 
3ut surprise will cease when the character of this 
people has been exhibited more clearly, and the 
.mscrupulous and demoralising influences, brought 
•y them to bear amidst the social relations of life, 


Under the system established by Mr. Seward, of 
the secret police, a spy was in every household. 
These were often selected from the higher classes of i 

society, as witness Mrs. and Mrs. of 

Baltimore, and Mme. — and Mrs. of Washing- 
ton City. By such means the sanctity of home was 
invaded ; every unguarded expression uttered within 
its sacred precincts was sure to reach the ears of the 
secret police — those Thugs of America, who, less 
merciful than their Eastern prototypes (who warned 
their victims of their coming fate by a knife stuck 
in the wall), entered the houses and the chambers 
of women and children at the dead of night,* 
dragging them from their beds, and, regardless 
alike of tears and prayers, forced them to assume 
their garments under the eye, and often amidst the 
scurrilous jests, of their rude and licentious agents. 
One young girl, to my knowledge, died from the 
shame and horror of this ordeal. 

And yet this people, with the deep damnation ofi 
their acts before them, dare to proclaim their mission 
to be, the upholding of the Constitution, and the re- 
storation of the Union. I often wonder that the 
thunderbolts of heaven do not strike them as they 
utter the sacrilegious lie. 

Their leaders now, in all private circles, when they 


1 deemed themselves secure, unblushingly announced 

their real determination to abolish slavery. Sedgwick, 

lof New York, one of their most intelligent members 

lof the Lower House, told me ' that he did not care a 

rush for the flag ; that that was a claptrap for the 

-ignorant;'' and that if ' he thought that by this war the 

old Union could be restored, with its constitutional 

guarantees for slavery, that he would not vote a dollar 

or a man. No,' he said, ' it was for universal emanci' 

uation his party fought, and they were now strong 

enough to declare their true policy.' 

The Honourable Henry Wilson said, ' The country 
had been ruled long enough by Southern aristocrats, 
md that his party would enforce their principles at 
ilhe point of the bayonet ; ' and ' as to Maryland, they 
had put the iron heel upon her, and would crush out 
'her boundary lines.'' 

Baker, of Oregon, one of President Lincoln's most 
confidential advisers, and United States senator, said, 
n a conversation which I held with him at the time 
it>f the pretended attempt to reinforce Fort Sumter, in 
answer to a remonstrance of mine on the subject, 
It is true a great many lives may be lost, and we 
nay not succeed in reinforcing Fort Sumter. But the 
President was elected by a Northern majority, and 
hey are now becoming dissatisfied ; and the President 


owes it to them to strike some blow by which he will 
make a united Northern party.'' 

Dickerson, of Rhode Island, said, ' that if the re- 
bellion could not be suppressed in any other way, he 
was for the abolition of slavery, as a certain means of 
reducing the South to a state of vassalage.' 

I state these conversations, and I might add many 
more to the list, in order to show that even at this 
early day, when the initiatory step in the revolution 
had scarcely been taken, all affectation was thrown 
aside as to the real object of the war — that of sub- 
jugation of the South by means of general emanci- 
pation of the slaves. 

Mrs. Hasler was at this time released, upon taking 
the oath of allegiance, and making a full confession 
of all she had done or knew. I was heartily glad 
of it. She had paid dearly for a momentary im- 
pulse, her sympathy or connection with our cause 
being confined to the transmission of a few letters. 
For this she was imprisoned two months in solitary 
confinement, and it required the stern faith of the 
martyrs of old to withstand the ordeal of our Lord 
Abraham the First. But even this was not done as 
an act of justice to the victim, whose health had 
become seriously impaired, but by the kindly exer- 
tions of a lady who exercised as potential an infiu- 


3nce over the wily Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, 
is the celebrated Madame du Barri did over the 
grandfather of Louis XVI. 

It would be impossible to record the daily, hourly, 
Setty annoyances to which I was exposed. Every 
irticle of clothing which went to the laundry had to 
oe examined by the corporal of the guard, in presence 
; )f the officer of the guard. Upon one occasion the 
feorporal of the guard, on sending out some article of 
•ilothing for one of the prisoners, neglected this duty, 
ibr which he was tried, degraded to the ranks, with 
imprisonment for thirty days, and loss of pay for 
ihree months. 

'; Thus it will be seen that, whatever repugnance 

(day have been felt by an officer in the performance 

i»f this task, it was obligatory upon him by order of 

•he Provost-Marshal, who seemed to have had some 

'riginal ideas on the subject of the transmission of 

■reasonable communications, although none on the 

ubject of decency. The provost-guard was set in 

ommotion one day, headed by Captain Averil, on 

ccount of a sprig of jessamine having reached me 

without going through the usual examination. 





The Abolition Government had been for some time 
amusing the minds of its credulous subjects with a 
new scheme for the annihilation of the South. The 
greatest naval expedition since that of Philip II. for 
the subjugation of England, because good Queen 
Bess turned a dull ear to his matrimonial scheme 
was being fitted out, and, regardless of lucky or 
unlucky synonymes, it was also called ' The Great 

Every invention of modern science was employed 
in arming and equipping this vast fleet, so as to 
insure the greatest amount of death and devastation 
to our unhappy doomed Southern land. Twenty 




thousand picked troops were sent as a part of the 
expedition, and, most terrible of all, Burnside was to 
command it — going South to look for his hat and 
iiis boots which he had lost at Manassas. 

It would be idle to record the anxieties which 
possessed me, as day by day I followed, through the 
New York Herald,' the progress of the preparation, 
md final equipment, and embarkation of the men. 

The destination of this formidable armada now 
>ecame an affair of vast moment, and I revolved in 
lay mind the various means by which this essential 
information could be obtained. Accident favoured 
his thirst for knowledge better than any plan, how- 
ever well arranged, could have done. 

\ We are told that Jove nods sometimes ; and Mr. 


Secretary Seward, who in the morning is the most 

Reticent man in the world (admirably illustrating 

Oalieyrand's famous axiom, that language is given to 

' onceal thought), is, after supper, and under the in- 

uence of the generous gifts which the gods provide, 
the most genial and confidential. I have often had 

ccasion to admire the confidingness of his nature on 
mese occasions, and wondered if the judgment of 

he world was correct in ascribing to him the cha- 
racter of a subtle schemer and tortuous intriguer. 
It was upon one of these festive occasions, when 


the mind of the great statesman had become properly 
attuned, and his thoughts soared above the sordid 
materialism which fettered his genius during the 
plodding methodical business hours, that he ad- 
dressed himself to the task of indoctrinating a dis- 
tinguished Foreign Eepresentative, whose views, I am 
sorry to say, were not dissimilar to his own, as to the 
utter hopelessness of the Southern cause, and assuring 
him that in thirty days (a favourite period of his) 
the rebellion would be crushed out — demonstrating 
this melancholy fact by describing in detail this ' in- 
vincible armada,'' and the devastating course it was 
predestined to take. 

This important information was conveyed to me ■■ 
by my little bird. Mayhap it was the bird sent out 
from the ark, and did not return, and now came 
back to me with better than the olive-branch. I 
leave this as an antiquarian speculation. But being 
satisfied by other means of the accuracy of the j 
intelligence, I lost no time in preparing one of those 
'peculiar square despatches, written in that cipher for 
which a very large amount had been offered, and, 
with a prayer to Almighty God for its safe delivery, 
committed it to my faithful bird, and sent it across 
the waters to General Beauregard, to be forwarded 
to our great and good President at Eichmond. 



\ I might describe, if I chose, the clanger that my 
boor bird passed over, and how it at one time took 
fefuge in the dovecot of the enemy, and other things 
of startling interest ; but this would indicate the 
;ourse of the heaven-sent messenger, and jeopardise 
he future. 

I learned at this time that Dr. Gwin, formerly 
iJnited States Senator for California, was in Wash- 
agton, a prisoner, although at large, and I desired 
^ery much to communicate to him verbally some 
--etails which would have been useful to our Go- 
vernment, but which I did not dare write, as it 
pould have compromised the safety of a friend 
those position was one of prominence under the 
r ankee Government. I wrote a note to Dr. Gwin, 
feating this fact, and that I could arrange with 
erfect safety a personal interview. I laugh 
jow at the description of the Doctor's terror 
3n receiving my note, and his earnest appeal 
or God's sake not to attempt to communicate 
• ith him, for he was surrounded by the detec- 
^ve police, &c. He had not learned that therein 
Vas his immunity to do seemingly impossible 

The equinoctial gales had now set in, and the 
ailing, shrieking, and howling of the tempest, as it 


swept along, fell on my ear like the soft cadences of 
sweet music. 

The Abolition fleet had been a little too tardy in 
its movements to reap the full benefit of the equinoc- 
tial blast ; still it was considerably damaged, several 
vessels being stranded. A large number of horses, 
and quantities of ordnance stores also, were thrown 
overboard, thereby causing considerable delay before 
the great armada finally set forth upon its devas- 
tating errand. Meanwhile my despatch reached 

I was very much startled one day, somewhere 
about the 1st of October, at receiving a proposition 
from a Yankee officer to aid in effecting my escape. 
The first idea that flashed upon me was (for I con- 
fess that my bump of caution had been largely de- 
veloped by the events of the last few months), that 
this was a trick to ensnare some of my friends, or for 
the purpose of affording a pretext for conveying me 
to a Northern prison. Whatever my suspicions were, 
I deemed it politic to give no indications of them, 
so I responded to the proposal as if I believed it 
made in good faith, and opened communication with 
a friend on the subject, warning my friend secretly, 
however, of my suspicions, and giving instructions as 
to the programme to be followed. All things worked 


admirably. The real objects which I had in view 
(and which I refrained from stating, for reason that 
it might afford an imprudent indication) having been 
effected, I threw grave obstacles in the way of the 
accomplishment of the heroic feat, and it was finally 
abandoned, from seeming want of resolution on my 
part to undertake it. 

I can hardly tell now how my time was passed. I 

had gone through the heat of midsummer into the 

autumn, the severity of my imprisonment increasing 

; all the while — my food so uneatable, that for days I 

had lived upon crackers and cheese. I was not 

i even allowed to take exercise in the yard ; and was 

i credibly informed that a proposition was discussed 

; as to whether my windows should not be nailed up, 

so as to deprive me of light, as a means of forcing 

: me into the terms of the Government. 

1 During all this period I was shut out from all 

i intercourse or communication with my friends. The 

interdict was absolute : no one was allowed to see 

1 me. Even the religious consolation which is accorded 

Ho the lowest criminal in the Christian countries of 

'Europe was denied me. Several members of the 

■'Holy Catholic clergy applied to see me, and were 

repulsed with great rudeness at the Provost-Marshal's ; 

as being ' emissaries of Satan and Secesh.' 



I wrote to enquire whether the Provost-Marshal 
had made a wholesale compact with the Devil, by 
which my child and maid were to be given over to 
destruction, as well as myself — reminding him that 
there was no monopoly in contracts with the Gentle- 
man in Black (the system of corrupt monopoly, of 
Government contracts was at this time being loudly 
denounced), and asking that the privilege might be 
accorded them of going to church. This was granted 
for the ensuing Sunday, and occasionally afterwards, 
but always under escort of a guard, whose orders 
were to sit in the same pew and allow no communi- 
cation with anyone. 

One morning, as I opened my chamber-door to 
pass to the library, I saw the detective, Allen, drag- 
ging an old lady up the stairs, who had great diffi- 
culty in ascending, even with his assistance. It was 
the venerable mother of the martyr Jackson ; and I 
honoured her grey hairs as being his mother more 
than if a diadem had circled her brow. She was 
placed in the room adjoining mine, the bar of wood 
having been removed after the last occupant left. The 
guard, however, were not aware of this fact, and I was 
amused as I heard the detective double the guard, 
and order that no one was to communicate with the 
prisoner. I cautiously opened the door between our 


apartments, and mounted over a divan which stood 
across the entrance. She sprang forward at seeing 
one of her own sex. I rapidly cautioned her, by 
pointing to the door leading into the hall, placed my 
finger on my lips, and softly approached her, when 
the venerable lady folded me in her arms, and gave 
me the information which I have stated above as to 
who she was. I then knelt at her feet, and she 
rapidly poured into my ear tales of the outer world. 
She told me that she had been dragged from her bed 
at midnight ; that she had been only allowed to 
throw a loose gown over her night-dress, and that 
even in the presence of her captors, and was thus 
brought forth. 

My heart bled to see this noble woman of eighty 
years subjected to such an ordeal. But she proved 
herself worthy of being the mother of her brave son, 
She recounted to me the heart-rending history of his 
ruthless murder, and how his body had been pinned 
to the floor by the demons, and kept there for many 
hours for them to ■ gloat over, until his heart-broken 
wife with her own feeble hands dragged it forth, for 
Christian burial. 

She told me also of the heroic deeds of our brave 

soldiers, which filled my heart with pride and thank- 

J fulness, and I bowed my head in her lap and said, 

i 2 


' Mother, give me your blessing ! ' And the old 
matron's words of ' God bless you and give you 
sustaining strength, my child ! ' seemed to inspire me 
with new courage for what was to come. 

Soon the officer of the guard returned. The ter- 
rible bar was placed in the door, and I did not again 
enjoy the privilege of speaking with the mother of 
Jackson, neither was I allowed to minister to her 
comfort. She was kept in a room without fire or 
lights, the weather being very cold, until about 
twelve o'clock at night, when she was released. 

Jackson had been one of the first victims of this 
war of aggression. He was a resident of Alexandria, 
Va. Before the occupation of that city by the 
Yankee forces, a marauding party under Ellsworth, a 
New York fireman and desperado, strayed into Alex- 
andria one morning, about daylight, when Ellsworth, 
seeing the Virginia State flag floating from Jackson's 
house, detached himself from his party, and rushed 
into the house to tear it down. Jackson was roused 
from sleep in time to kill the daring ruffian who had 
thus violated his rights, and was himself murdered a 
short time afterwards, under circumstances of great 
barbarity, by the remainder of the gang, who then 
spread themselves through the city, plundering and 
committing outrages upon women of respectability. 


For this four of their number were condemned to be 
shot, but their escape was subsequently connived at 
by the authorities. 

A few days after this, a Miss Poole or Stewart was 
brought in. 

On the 16th clay of November I received a visit 
from my sister, Mrs. James Madison Cutts, and my 
niece, the Honourable Mrs. Stephen A. Douglass, ac- 
companied by Colonel Ingolls, U. S. A.— the permit 
to see me making the presence of an officer during 
the interview obligatory, and limiting it to fifteen 
minutes. I had been so ruthlessly debarred commu- 
nication with my kind, that I had long since arrived 
at the conclusion, that all human kindness had taken 
flight, along with my brethren of the South, and 
left this God-forsaken city of Washington, with its 
unfortunate detenue, at the mercy of the merciless 

Colonel Ingolls earnestly recommended my ' grace- 
ful submission ' to the Government, and kindly 
offered to mediate in my behalf with Secretary 

I declined this amiable counsel and proffer of aid 
as inconsistent with my own feelings and derogatory 
to my honour. 

I had now been three months a prisoner, with no 


charge preferred against me, or reason assigned for 
the illegal act ; and 1 determined to address a re- 
spectful letter to Mr. Seward, the Secretary of State, 
on the subject, hoping to obtain some elucidation of 
a matter certainly of personal interest to me. This 
I did on the 17th of November. I also sent a copy 
of this letter to my friends at Manassas, with no idea 
or intention, however, of its ever being given to the 
public, and I confess that at first I was deeply cha- 
grined at the circumstance. But when I afterwards 
knew the anger and annoyance of the Abolition- 
ists at having the secrets of their prison-house laid 
bare, I became perfectly satisfied of the superior wis- 
dom of my friends in giving it publicity. As a part 
of my story I subjoin the letter : — 

'Washington : November 17, 1861. 
'398,16th. Street. 


' Sie, — For nearly three months I have been con- 
fined a close prisoner, shut out from air and exer- 
cise, and denied all communion with family and 

' " Patience is said to be a great virtue," and I 
have practised it to my utmost capacity of endurance. 


' I am told, sir, that upon your ipse dixit the fate 
of citizens depends, and that the sign-manual of 
the ministers of Louis XIV. and XV. was not more 
potential in their day than that of the Secretary of 
State in 1861. 

' I therefore most respectfully submit that on 
Friday, August 23rd, without warrant or other 
show of authority, I was arrested by the detective 
police, and my house taken in charge by them : 
that all my private letters and papers of a life-time 
were read and examined by them : that every law 
of decency was violated in the search of my house 
and person, and by the surveillance over me. 

i We read in history that the poor Marie 
Antoinette had a paper torn from her bosom by 
lawless hands, and that even a change of linen had 
to be effected in sight of her brutal captors. It is 
my sad experience to record even more revolting 
outrages than that, for during the first days of my 
imprisonment, whatever necessity forced me to seek 
my chamber, a detective stood sentinel at the open 
door. And thus, for a period of seven days, I, with 
my little child, was placed absolutely at the mercy 
of men without character or responsibility ; that 
during the first evening a portion of those men 
became brutally drunk, and boasted in my hearing 


of the nice times they expected to have with the 
female prisoners, and that rude violence was used 
towards a servant girl during that first evening. 
For any show of .ttecorum afterwards practised 
towards me I was indebted to the detective called 
Captain Dennis. 

' In the careful analysis of my papers I deny the 
existence of a line that I had not a perfect right to 
have written or to have received. Freedom of 
speech and of opinion is the birthright of Americans, 
guaranteed to us by our charter of liberty — the 
Constitution of the United States. I have exercised 
my prerogative, and have openly avowed my senti- 
ments. During the political struggle I opposed 
your Kepublican party with every instinct of self- 
preservation. I believed your success a virtual nulli- 
fication of the Constitution, and that it would entail 
upon us all the direful consequences which have 
ensued. These sentiments have doubtless been 
found recorded among my papers, and I hold them 
as rather a proud record of my sagacity. 

' I must be permitted to quote from a letter of 
yours, in regard to " Eussell of the London Times" 
which you conclude with these admirable words : 
"Individual errors of opinion may be tolerated, so 
long as good sense is left to combat them." 


i By way of illustrating theory and practice, here 
am I — a prisoner in sight of the executive mansion — 
in sight of the Capitol, where the proud statesmen 
of our land have sung their oasans to the blessings 
of our free institutions. Comment is idle. Freedom of 
speech, freedom of thought, every right pertaining to 
the citizen, has been suspended by what, I suppose, the 
President calls a " military necessity." A blow has 
been struck by this total disregard of all civil rights 
against the present system of government far greater 
in its effects than the severance of the Southern States. 
The people have been taught to contemn the su- 
premacy of the law, to which all have hitherto 
bowed, and to look to the military power for pro- 
tection against its decrees. A military spirit has 
been developed which will only be subordinate to a 
military dictatorship. Eead history, and you will 
find that the causes which bring about a revolution 
rarely predominate at its close, and no people have 
ever returned to the point from which they started. 
Even should the Southern States be subdued, and 
\ forced back into the Union (which I regard as im- 
I possible, with a full knowledge of their resources), 
a different form of government will be found need- 
<ful to meet the new developments of national cha- 
racter. There is no class of society, no branch of 


industry, which this change has not reached, and 
the dull plodding methodical habits of the past can 
never be resumed. 

' You have held me, sir, to a man's accountability, 
and I therefore claim the right to speak on subjects 
usually considered beyond a woman's ken, and which 
you may class as " errors of opinion." I offer no ex- 
cuse for this long digression, as a three months' 
imprisonment, without formula of law, gives me 
authority for occupying even the precious moments 
of a Secretary of State. 

'My object is to call your attention to the fact, 
that during this long imprisonment I am yet ignorant 
of the causes of my arrest ; that my house has been 
seized and converted into a prison by the Govern- 
ment ; that the valuable furniture it contained has 
been abused and destroyed ; that during some period 
of my imprisonment I have suffered greatly for want 
of proper and sufficient food. Also, I have to com- 
plain that more recently a woman of bad character — 
recognised as having been seen in the streets of 
Chicago as such, by several of the guard — calling 
herself Mrs. Onderdunk, was placed here in my house 
in a room adjoining mine. 

'In making this exposition, I have no object of 
appeal to your sympathies. If the justice of my 


complaint and a decent regard for the world's 
opinion do not move you, I should but waste time 
to claim your attention on any other score. 

' I may, however, recall to your mind that but a 
little while since you were quite as much proscribed 
by public sentiment here, for the opinions and prin- 
ciples you held, as I am now for mine. 

1 1 could easily have escaped arrest, having had 
timely warning. I thought it possible that your 
statesmanship might prevent such a proclamation of 
weakness to the world as even the frao-ment of a 
once great Government turning its arms against the 
breasts of women and children. You have the 
power, sir, and may still further abuse it. You may 
prostrate the physical strength, by confinement in 
close rooms and insufficient food. You may subject 
me to harsher, ruder treatment than I have already 
received ; but you cannot imprison the soul. Every 
cause worthy of success has had its martyrs. The 
words of the heroine Corday are applicable here : 
' Oest le crime qui fait la honte, et non pas Vecha- 
faud" My sufferings will afford a significant lesson 
;;o the women of the South, that sex or condition is 
io bulwark against the surging billows of the " irre- 
pressible conflict" 
I ' The " iron heel " of power may keep down, but 


it cannot crush out, the spirit of resistance in a people 
armed for the defence of their rights ; and I tell you 
now, sir, that you are standing over a crater whose 
smothered fires in a moment may burst forth. 

' It is your boast that thirty-three bristling fortifi- 
cations surround Washington. The fortifications of 
Paris did not protect Louis Philippe when his hour 
had come. 

' In conclusion, I respectfully ask your attention to 

this my protest, and have the honour to be, &c, 

&c, &c, 

' Eose O'K Greenhow.' 





abolition difficulties — m'clellan — scott — fremont 
brought forward — f. p. blair — reviews and sham battles 
— seward's policy — destruction of civil rights — armed 
occupation of maryland — elections at the point of the 
bayonet — despotism in baltimore — my own lot — miss 
mackall's visit to lincoln and porter — her illness and 
desire to see me — application to lincoln — his refusal — 
death of miss mackall — my own illness — dr. m'millen — 
peculations of cameron — sent to russia — congressional 

The contest between the different divisions of the 
'Abolitionists for the spoils was now carried on 
with quite as much heat and bitterness as had 
ever characterised the discussions of the two great 
sectional parties upon the vital questions of consti- 
tutional rights. 

M'Clellan had been brought forward as a neces- 
sary expedient for the removal of Scott, without 
my idea, however, of foisting him permanently 
ipon the party. But he had taken root amidst the 
ess ultra portions of it, and, from having been a 


tool in the first place, now stood defiantly at the 
head of a party of his own, who clamorously 
supported his pretensions. 

The Abolition Government did not, however, at 
this time desire to crush ; they merely wished to 
clip the wings of the eaglet they had hatched, to 
prevent his soaring too high. His mission had been 
only half accomplished. General Scott, although 
virtually suspended from all power, still stood 
legally as Lieutenant-General of the Eepublic and 
Commander-in-Chief of its armies — their blandish- 
ments and slights had alike failed in inducing him 
to retire. He still held on, his vanity in some 
degree blinding him to the humiliation of his 

Nominally commander-in-chief, he merely served 
to confuse the war councils by the exercise of his 
undoubted prerogative — that of originating, or 
approving military measures ; and he had the i 
mortification of seeing his recommendations very 
generally disregarded, which was the more remark- 
able, from the fact of their being always of 
the most aggressive character towards the South ; 
General Scott never having forgiven that section foi 
rejecting him as their candidate for President in' it 
1853. I; 


The state of irritation in which he was kept at this 
time, brought on a prolonged attack of the gout, and 
the scenes which often took place were described 
as ludicrously tragical for the younger officers, who 
were obliged to approach him officially. 

He had in reality no friends. His arbitrary manner 

had chilled the growth of affection, even in Iris days 

of power, and those who had endured his arrogance 

for personal advantage, now that his star was set, 

; addressed themselves to other patrons ; and the old 

Ihero, who had borne himself loftily on a hundred 

) battle-fields, but who had at last sullied the glory 

of his proud deeds by ranging himself under the 

.Abolition banner, to trample under foot human 

rights, , was now reaping the bitter fruits, in the 

[contempt and indignity of the party for whom he 

shad foresworn his birthright. Wolsey's celebrated 

^monologue was doubtless often recalled to his 

Lmemory, for truly in his ' extremity had he been 

left to the mercy of his enemies.'' 

The political cauldron at Washington at this time 
presented a curious spectacle. Fremont had already 
oeen brought forward as a rival to M'Clellan. He 
,vas supported by the more violent of the Abolition- 
ists, with Francis P. Blair as his sponsor, who, skilled 
n all the tortuosities of political intrigue, was admi- 


rabiy adapted to the position, and perhaps was the 
only living man who could have galvanised Fremont 
from the condition of obscurity into which he had 
collapsed, after his defeat as the Republican candidate 
for President in 1857. 

Whilst the feud raged with all imaginable bitter- 
ness between the friends of the different partisan 
chiefs, M'Clellan was devoting himself, with a zeal 
worthy of a better cause, to the task of producing 
and organising an army out of the chaotic ele- 
ments at his command ; and I often looked on 
with sickening heart, at the energy and talent dis- 
played by him, in surmounting the difficulties which 
beset him in the performance of his Herculean 

It has been I0112; since determined as the first 
great rule for a commander, that he should acquaint 
himself thoroughly as to the capabilities of his army. 
It was this knowledge of his subordinates which 
distinguished Napoleon above all others. And 
M'Clellan seems, in this instance, to have been 
guided by the example of this illustrious man, and 
to have studied well the motley mass composing the 
grand army. 

His conclusion was not very flattering — for he 
decided that their nervous organisation was incom- 


patible with bayonet charges, and hand-to-hand 
encounters. Hence he decided to make the war 
hereafter an artillery duel, as the only chance of 
success against ' the dare-devil Southern chivalry, 
who were born to the use of arms' 

To this end he devoted all his energy and influence. 
The workshops of the North were set in motion, and 
science and skill were employed, to construct the 
most terrible projectiles and guns of largest range ; 
and all for the purpose of forcing upon the unap- 
"preciative rebels the blessings of fraternal intercourse. 

Perhaps never before in the world was so large an 
amount of ammunition destroyed in reviews, sham 
battles, and royal salutes. It was, however, a mili- 
tary necessity to accustom the men, as well as the 
horses, to stand fire. Scarcely one of these martial 
4 games went off without some accident, resulting in 
the loss of life, from the unskilful use of the terrible 
playthings. Intense satisfaction was, however, felt 
fidiat the rebels had not these scientific adjuncts,' and, 
:n the next engagement, would be hors de combat. 

I speak ex cathedra on this head, as I had the 
*ood fortune of having had minutes of M'CleUan's 
private consultations, and often extracts from his 

Mr. Seward at this time certainly established his 



claim to be considered the most adroit schemer of 
the day, and possessed in a rare degree the faculty 
of making the passions and prejudices of others sub- 
serve his own ends. 

This was demonstrated by his skilful management 
of the two great parties who were contending for 
military supremacy. His sliding scale was so admi- 
rably adjusted, that it was difficult to determine which 
party he favoured ; and the truth was, he really 
attached himself to neither. No principle of his was 
involved in the fanatical crusade, only over-towering 
ambition ; and, whichever party was likely to be the 
strongest, with that party will he ultimately throw 
himself. His bump of caution was also largely deve- 
loped. He had raised the whirlwind, and he wished 
to shelter himself from the dangers of the ' irrepres- 
sible conflict' until its fury had been spent. The 
State Department, with its myriads of .secret police, 
was a safe anchorage for the time being, as from 
thence he could ply the trade of the assassin or high- 
way robber without paying the penalty of his crimes ; 
for, by the tinkling of that little bell at the State 
Department, the citizen, north, east, or west, was at 
his mercy. Who will question the wisdom of the 
South, if even at the price of blood she resisted this 
unholy usurpation ? Besides, if these measures 


should afterwards prove to have been unwise, and 
likely to interfere with any ulterior policy, which the 
chapter of accidents might develope, or political 
expediency recommend, he had always the rail-split- 
ter for a scapegoat, as he of course was only acting 
by poor Lincoln's orders, who, by the way, was still 
under the tutelage of this man of varied parts, learn- 
ing the polite usages of society. 

The last vestige of civil and constitutional rights 
had been swept away. The habeas corpus was sus- 
| bended throughout the dominions of Abraham the 
First ; and the opinion of the venerable Chief Justice 
Taney, that eminent jurist and pure patriot, sustain- 
i ing the legal tribunals, was set aside, and derided as 
an 'old woman's story.' The Legislature of Mary- 
land, in the exercise of its sovereign prerogative, was 
'prorogued, and the chief members of it conveyed to 
'i a Northern bastile ; and the elections which subse- 
quently came off were carried by driving from the 
polls, at the point of the bayonet, the legal voters, 
'■and substituting in their stead the hireling soldiers 
who infested every portion of the State : thus carry- 
ing out to the letter Senator Wilson's boast, ' We 
have set the iron heel on Maryland, and will crush 
'out her boundary lines' 

The city of Baltimore especially suffered in this 

K 2 


onslaught against the laws of God and man. Her 
citizens were subject to the vilest indignities, the most 
prominent of whom were sent to some one of the 
strongholds of the tyrant, to be held, in many in- 
stances, as hostages for the good behaviour of their 

In despite of all this, with the city under the 
Federal guns, and the threat of being razed to the 
ground fulminated against her, and troops stationed 
throughout every portion of her — Baltimore has 
vindicated her claim to be called the unterrified, and, 
regardless alike of bribes or threats, her people have 
remained true to their instincts of honour and fealty 
to the South, and at peril of life, and liberty, and 
property, have ever extended their bountiful hand 
to shelter and assist their brethren in their hour of 
need. May Heaven cast its protecting shield over 
the noble generous city of Baltimore, and may she 
ere long be welcomed as one of the proudest gems 
of the Confederacy! 

My own lot was now dismal enough. I felt 
almost as one who had passed the confines of eter- 
nity, and was looking on from another sphere upon 
the phantasmagoria in this. I seemed to hold no 
visible connection with the world. My friends and 
^ relatives were denied access to me, unless they 


belonged to the Black Kepublican ranks ; and these 
were too prudent to risk their popularity by often 
availing themselves of the privilege, and only then 
under the pressure of that public opinion, which 
delighteth to decry their neighbours, for acting pre- 
cisely as they would have done under similar 

Every means was employed which petty malice 
could devise to annoy me. It had been argued at 
first that, accustomed as I had been to a great deal 
of society and a very active hfe, to immure me 
in solitary imprisonment, without air or exercise, 
would soon reduce even my rebellious nature to 
' submission.' But, failing in this calculation, they 
now sought eternally some invasion of the few pri- 
vileges left. For instance, in going from my chamber 
to the library, I would be often turned back until 
the officer in charge could go to the Provost- 
Marshal's, and my poor little girl was circumscribed 
to a few feet in front of the house, with an extra 
. guard detached to watch her ; and although I paid 
for my own laundry, it was often two or three weeks 
before I could send out my clothes. I was also 
obliged to buy my own lights, as the Government 
refused to allow me any. 

Lieutenant Sheldon had been ordered under arrest, 


upon the charge of taking out communications for 
me, but was released by order of Seward. 

My poor friend, Miss Mackall, with whom I kept 
up uninterrupted communication, in spite of all the 
vigilance, was untiring in her efforts to see me. In 
turn she implored every member of the Cabinet, 
and finally went to Lincoln, whose reception of her 
was characteristic of the man. He told her ' that 
she had had too much of my teachings already — 
that I had done more to damage, and briny his 
Government into disrepute, than all the rest of the 
darned rebels together ; and by G — d site should 
never see me again, if he could help if This was 
fatally prophetic. I, however, sent him word that 
whilst he was engaged in the undignified task of 
reviling a prisoner, and that prisoner a woman, I 
was far more philanthropically occupied in making a 
new disguise for him to quit Washington in. 

The dear girl was, however, almost heartbroken, 
for she loved me well, and made a last appeal to 
Provost-Marshal Andrew J. Porter, Avho, improving 
upon his master's brutality, indulged in a philippic 
against me, and concluded by rudely saying ' that 
he wondered why he had not already arrested her.' 
She left him in tears, sobbed bitterly the way home, 
retired to her bed, from which she never after rose. 


Lily wrote me that same evening a full account of 
the above, which reached me through my medium 
unsuspected. She grew rapidly worse, and in little 
more than a week from the above period she was 
dying. Throughout her illness she prayed to see 
me, and, a few hours before the fatal event, was so 
earnest in her prayer — saying, that ' she could not die 
happily unless she was gratified ' — that, although 
late at night, her mother sent to the Provost-Marshal. 
His reply was that he had not the authority to 
grant the permission, and that it rested with the 
Secretary of State, Seward. Thereupon I wrote to 
Seward, asking the privilege of visiting my dying 
friend, subject to any restriction he might impose. 
His reply was forwarded to the Provost-Marshal, a 
copy of which was sent me : — 

' The Provost-Marshal will please inform Mrs. 
i Greenhow that, in consequence of her correspon- 
! dence with the General commanding the armies 
i now besieging Washington, her request to visit the 
! 1 house of Mrs. Mackall cannot be complied with, 
as it would be an interference with military arrange- 
ments, &c. 

(Signed) 'Wm. H. Seward.' . 

■ ] ' 

And so my darling faithful friend was laid in her 


grave, and the cold earth shut out her beautiful 
loving face for ever from my eyes. I could not then 
weep ; but I prayed that the God of Justice would, 
in his hour of need, deny the heartless ' charlatan ' 
that mercy which he, dressed in his ' brief authority,' 
had denied to me. 

Captain Averil's congenial services in the Police 
Department were at last rewarded by promotion, 
which transferred him to a new field of action, 
and he was succeeded by Captain M'Millen, whose 
gentlemanly conduct afforded a striking contrast, On 
assuming his position he wrote me a most respectful 
and kind letter, offering any service not inconsistent 
with his duty as an officer of the United States ; and, 
although his acts were always guided by the most 
fastidious loyalty to his own Government, he was 
/ever delicate and deferential in the performance of 
his disagreeable duty. He was severely reprimanded 
on more than one occasion for beino; too lenient — in 
other words, too gentlemanly — and finally my letters, 
received or written, which had been submitted to 
him for examination, were transferred to the detec- 
tive Dennis, who, in order to seem vigilant in 
proportion to his former stolidity, returned me the 
simplest note, as being offensive to the canaille of 
the Provost-Marshal's Office. 


I was about this time, the last of November, quite 
ill, from the close confinement and insufficiency of 
food. Dr. M'Millen, a brother of Captain M'Millen, 
was allowed to attend me, and he ordered that more 
palatable and nutritious food should be supplied me, 
which was done for a few days ; but on discover- 
ing that it was furnished at the cost of Lieutenant 
Sheldon, I refused to receive it, and got on as well 
as I could upon crackers and cheese, which my 
faithful maid would contrive to procure for me. 

1 shall ever retain the most grateful recollection 
of Dr. M'Millen's gentle humane kindness, as well as 
that of his brother Captain M'Millen. The conduct ) 
of these two formed a striking contrast to the bes- 
tial natures by whom I had been surrounded, and 
who had control of my liberty and life. 

Dr. M'Millen was never but once after this allowed 
to visit me, and then in the presence of an officer, 
and his conversation strictly limited to his medical 
enquiry and prescription. An idiosyncrasy common 
to the Abolition dynasty was, that I exercised some 
spell over all who approached me, whose nature; 
were not brutalised. 

The peculations of Simon Cameron, the Secretary 
of War, had now assumed such colossal dimensions, 
and the onslaught against him by those who had not 



been so favoured by opportunity were so bitter, that 
the Government at Washington were seriously em- 
barrassed. They had been, of course, aware of all 
this for months. Hence it was not peculation, but 
the inconvenience of the discovery and consequent 
publicity, which now disturbed Mr. Lincoln and his 
Ministry ; and a reasonable doubt may here be 
expressed as to whether the whole Government 
were not committed to practices equally nefarious. 

Mr. Seward had in the beginning, upon the forma- 
tion of the Cabinet, made the appointment of Came- 
ron a sine qu&non; so he still sustained him with 
great warmth. Cameron, although an uneducated 
man, of mediocrity of intellect, was gifted with won- 
derful accumulative faculties ; but, unlike most men 
who are endowed with this peculiar talent, he dis- 
pensed his money with a princely hand for the 
attainment of his ends, and there is no doubt but 
that the astute Secretary of State, Mr. Seward, had 
often experienced the benefit f>f the financiering 
talent of his friend. 

One of the charges made and substantiated against 
Cameron was, that he had drawn pay and rations 
and equipment for 8G,000 men more than had ever 
been mustered into the service, and that in every 
contract made by the War Department, wdiether for 


purchase of munitions of war or clothing for the 
soldiers, his profits had been upon a like gigantic 

Cameron's friends had claimed for him, in the 
original cast of the Cabinet, to be made Secretary of 
the Treasury, as affording the widest scope for the 
expansion of his genius. But the north-eastern wing 
of the Abolitionists, headed by Sumner and Wilson, 
opposed this with great vehemence, indulging in 
animadversions not very flattering, and brought for- 
ward Chase in opposition, when a very animated 
contest began between the partisans of each, the 
conclusion of which it was difficult to foresee. 

From an unexpected quarter of the House, how- 
ever, a pacificator arose to ' pour oil upon the 
troubled waters' of Abolitiondom. Mr. Wigfall, of 
Texas, a United States senator, in his place said, 
addressing himself to Mr. Cameron — who was also a 
senator — ' Hearken unto the counsels of thine enemy. 
It is said that you are about to assume the portfolio 
of the Treasury Department. It is a mistake. With 
war comes the necessity for large supplies and big 
contracts. I would advise you to take the War 
Department, as best suited to you,' and fortified his 
advice by erudite and apt quotations. 

Whether Mr. Cameron was influenced by this 


well-timed advice I know not ; but it is a remarkable 
coincidence that his claims to the first position were 
soon after withdrawn, and he subsided quietly into 
the War Department. 

A Congressional Committee was appointed to in- 
vestigate these and other malpractices against the 
National Treasury. But long before they had fairly 
entered upon their labours, Cameron had been sent 
as Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Russia. 
The Government by this act showed as reckless a 
disregard for international courtesy, as for its own 
national dignity, and manifested, more clearly than 
volumes could have done, the character it was hence- 
forward to maintain amongst the nations of the earth. 
For here was a man — driven ignominiously from the 
councils of the nation by the force of public opinion, 
for the meanest form of corruption — sent as a re- 
presentative of that nation, at one of the haughtiest 
Courts of Europe. The Government itself entertained, 
doubts of his reception ; and Cameron did not set 
out on his mission until they had received satisfac- 
tory assurances on the subject. 





: Fremont, in his administration of the department 
of the West, appears to have followed closely the 
precedent established by the Apostolic Simon in the 
War Department. Charges of an astounding nature 
were sent on to Washington against him of mal- 
feasance in office — in short, the old California 
charges of peculation, favouritism in the giving of 
contracts, and general reckless extravagance. He 
ihad also proved himself to be utterly incompetent 
in a military point of view ; and this even his most 
zealous partisans were obliged to admit. Conse- 
quently his removal was loudly demanded. 


No one who has followed the course of this ad- 
venturous aspirant for fame, will be surprised at any 
phase of his destiny. And as he has been brought 
forward conspicuously before the eyes of the world, 
it may not be amiss to give a slight sketch of his 
origin and antecedents. 

Like many of the soldiers of fortune whose names 
have been emblazoned on the scroll of fame in the 
Old World, he is entitled to the bar sinister on 
his shield. Fremont Pwe was a French dancing- 
master, and taught the graceful art in the city of 
Eichmond, about the year 1812 or 1814, to most of 
the belles and beaux of that period. The celebrated 
Miss Maria Mayo — afterwards Mrs. General Scott — 
was one of his pupils, and my husband, as a little 
boy, had the benefit of his instruction. 

This worthy son of la belle France was not con- 
tent with the golden harvest he could legitimately 
reap in the exercise of his professional skill, but 
essayed his talents in another field, and soon made 
himself master of the situation, and bore off in 
triumph a Mrs. Pryor, the wife of an old and re- 
spectable citizen of Eichmond, who, by the way, took 
a most philosophical view of the domestic calamity, 
and, instead of pursuing with fire and sword the 
enterprising Frenchman, left him in peaceful posses- 


sion of the truant fair, and took to himself a more 
congenial helpmate. The romantic pair had winged 
their flight to Charleston, in which city he resumed 
the practice of his profession ; and our hero, John 
Charles Fremont, was the fruit of this auspicious 

Some of the citizens of Charleston took great inte- 
rest in young Fremont, who was educated at their 
expense and afterwards sent to West Point, where 
he graduated, without, however, giving any indi- 
cations of extraordinary capabilities, and was, some 
years afterwards, appointed as assistant to Mr. 
Nicholet, in his scientific explorations and surveys ; 
and here even he was regarded more for his me- 
thodical industry than for genius. He was a good 
draftsman, and, after Mr. Mcholet's death, was em- 
ployed to work out the result of his labours, which 
he did with accuracy and skill. Fremont had 
meanwhile married the daughter of the Honourable 
Thomas Hart Benton, who after a few years as- 
sumed his guardianship, and launched him on his 

By Benton's influence he was sent to explore the 
route across the Bocky Mountains to California, 
arriving there as the war with Mexico broke out ; 
and there is no doubt that in the illegal and high- 


handed measures of which he was guilty, and the 
extraordinary assumption of power by him, he 
but acted strictly under the instruction of Benton, 
who expected himself to be sent to Mexico with vice- 
regal powers, as he happily said in the Senate, with 
' the sword in one hand, and the purse in the other.' 

This scheme was exploded too soon for success, 
and the bitter denunciation of it by all parties in 
the Senate convinced the Administration that it was 
useless to propose it for their ratification. Bnt the 
failure, from whatever cause, drew upon the ad- 
ministration of Mr. Polk the antagonism of Benton 
from that period. 

The failure of Benton's scheme operated very 
injuriously upon Fremont. The commander of the 
department of California, General Kearney,* who 
was a most generous and high-toned officer, at first 
remonstrated with him upon the illegality of his pro- 
ceedings, but, failing to produce any effect, suspended 
and sent him to Washington under arrest for trial, 
where he arrived more with the air of a hero than 
one charged with high crime and misdemeanour. 

* This officer died some years since at St. Louis from the 
effects of disease contracted in Mexico, and must not be confounded 
with the Yankee General Phil. Kearney, who was killed in Vir- 
ginia on attempting to escape, after haying given up his sword as 
a prisoner of war. 


The court convened at Washington for the trial 
of Fremont was composed of officers of the highest 
grade, General Kearney being himself president of 
the court. Since the days of Warren Hastings, 
perhaps no court had ever been invested with so 
much interest. It was crowded each day by high 
officers of the Government and other friends of the 
accused. Colonel Benton was allowed extraordinary 
latitude in the defence, and at times browbeat or 
threatened the various members composing the 
court, or the witnesses. In short, the whole power 
of the Administration was employed to screen the 
criminal, and even private courtesies to the members 
of the court by those connected with the Govern- 
ment were discouraged. I was severely remonstrated 
with by a high official, upon the occasion of receiving 
General Kearney and the other members of the 
court at dinner. 

Notwithstanding the extraneous pressure brought 
to bear upon it, the court maintained a dignified 
impartiality in the exercise of its judicial functions, 
giving the accused the benefit of all that could be 
.adduced in his favour, and not deterred by the array 
of power and influence from pronouncing judgment 
according to the proofs before them. So, after an 
arduous and exciting trial, which lasted several 



weeks, the court found Fremont guilty upon every 
specification, and recommended that he should be 
severely reprimanded, and struck from the rolls of 
the army. The evidence, which is on file in the 
War Department at Washington, was so conclusive, 
and the charges of so flagrant a character, that 
the sentence was obliged to be confirmed. Mr. 
Polk subsequently, however, reappointed him : but 
Fremont refused to accept the executive clemency, 
knowing that he would be tabooed by the army. 

Shortly after he returned to California, and on her 
admission as one of the States of the Federal Union, 
he was selected by the Governor as one of the 
persons to represent her in the United States Senate. 
He drew the short term: consequently his legislative 
functions were only exercised for the space of three 
or four months, and so little did he impress the 
people, as to his capacity for the political arena, that 
although he sought, with great pertinacity, the re- 
newal of the honour, he was never after able to 
achieve it. 

Fremont had managed, during his first military 
sojourn in California, to establish a claim to the cele 
brated Marriposa Grant ; and he now proposed to 
build an adobe house upon a portion of it, and to 
settle himself there as a ranchero. It was at this 


time that I saw him in San Francisco, and spoke with 
him upon the subject. He seemed really to long for 
the primitive life he had marked out, and confessed 
himself utterly unsuited for the part he had been 
appointed to play upon the world's great stage — in 
which opinion I heartily concurred. 

He did not long, however, enjoy his Arcadian 
existence, Messrs. Palmer, Cook, & Co. being the evil 
spirits who tempted him from his retirement to the 
turmoils of life again. 

The above-mentioned firm of Palmer, Cook, & Co. 
were bankers of San Francisco, and the bona fide 
proprietors of the Marriposa, owning three-fourths of 
it, whilst Fremont represented one-fourth, subject to 
heavy mortgages upon it, for moneys advanced by 

The Marriposa was certainly a most royal demesne, 

of incalculable mineral wealth ; but, like the treasures 

-; described in Aladdin, locked in the bowels of the 

i earth, until the skill of the magician was employed 

to draw them forth. 

It was too vast and costly an undertaking for indi- 
j-r vidual enterprise, and it was consequently resolved 
(i by the parties interested to enlist European capitalists 
to: in the plan for working the mines, and otherwise 


developing its resources. Companies were formed 
in England to that end, which were to be chartered, 
and stocks issued, &c. It was scarcely secondary in 
magnitude to the famous Mississippi scheme. 

Fremont was supplied with ample funds, and sent 
to Europe as the agent of the prnjet ; and, in order 
to give eclat to his mission, these speculators resolved 
to nominate him as the Republican candidate for 
the Presidency, having no end in view but the in- 
flation of their bogus stock, and ultimate pecuniary 

Not content with the political prestige they had 
given him, those able financiers resolved to make 
him also appear as the richest man in the world. 
Circumstantial statements of his -daily income, of an 
incalculable amount, were published simultaneously 
in New York, Paris, and London. Rare gems, of 
great -size and value, were said to be found in the 
mineral regions of the Marriposa — amongst them, 
emeralds of such remarkable beauty, as to throw 
into the shade the crown jewels of Europe. These 
were advertised as having been set for Mrs. Fremont, 
In short, the Monte Christo of Dumas' creation was 
not the possessor of such countless riches as was this 
agent of a wholesale swindling firm. 

Meanwhile the Abolitionists resolved to accept the 


candidate which chance had furnished them, to try 
the strength of their party, of which they had no 
approximate idea. Charles Francis Adams (now 
United States Minister to England) had been nomi- 
nated with that object some years before at Chicago, 
but the result had demonstrated such a lamentable 
minority, that no prominent man was willing to risk 
his prospects of future success, by allowing his name 
to be used. Consequently, the whole strength of 
the Abolition party, by way of experiment, was con- 
centrated upon Fremont ; and, although the con- 
stitutional party triumphed in the election of their 
candidate, they were filled with dismay and grave 
misgivings for the future, at the formidable front 
which the higher law party presented, who, in their 
turn, were surprised at their own strength. And 
from that hour the Federal Government was doomed, 
and James Buchanan destined to be the last President 
of the United States. It was after this defeat of the 
Abolitionists, that the terrible poisoning scheme was 

The Marriposa humbug exploded, and Fremont 
was dropped by the party who had temporarily used 
him, and suffered to relapse into poverty and obscu- 
rity, until the revolution again brought him upon the 


The current of my story has been somewhat im- 
peded by this long narrative. Fremont's removal 
from the command of the department of the West 
had been determined on at Washington. Mrs. Fre- 
mont came on herself to take counsel of F. P. Blair, 
and, if possible, delay the execution of the sentence. 
But the exertions of that clever lady produced no 
visible effect in her husband's favour, although they 
fired the zeal of her ancient servitor and friend, who 
redoubled his exertions, but also fruitlessly. 

Blair laboured under the hallucination, that his 
own posthumous fame was indissolubly connected 
with that of Thomas Hart Benton, and that this was 
in some way mysteriously associated with the fulfill- 
ment of Benton's prophecy as to Fremont's future 
greatness. Hence he laboured to bring about its 
accomplishment, even though he encountered the 
antagonism of his own sons, who violently opposed 
Fremont — regardless of the injunction, that a house 
divided against itself must fall. 

Blair had also a private score to settle with the 
Southern chivalry. It had been by the influence of 
the Southern members of the democratic party, that 
he had been deprived of his position as Government 
organ, and consequent loss of the splendid pickings 
from the national crib. So, in order that he might 


wreak his vengeance upon that section, he was 
willing to tear down the walls of the temple 

Mrs. Fremont was treated with but scant cere- 
mony by the authorities at Washington. After many 
days of delay, she addressed a short but haughty 
note to President Lincoln, demanding; an answer to 
her communication, in order, as she stated, ' that 
she might return to her husband and children ; ' and 
the reply which this elicited from President Lincoln, 
was as curt as her own. So she returned West from 
her bootless mission at Washington, and was received 
at St. Louis with regal honours — a carriage and four 
awaited her, in which she was escorted by a troop 
of cavalry, with bands of music and bonfires, to her 
husband's quarters. So said the veracious chroniclers 
of the triumphal entry. 

Meanwhile the fiat had gone forth, and Halieck 
was appointed to the management of the depart- 
ment of the West, which Fremont had so lately 
mismanaged, having, however, greatly the advan- 
tage over his predecessor, in being of the genuine 
Abolition party. 

Edwin M. Stanton had been appointed to succeed 
Cameron in the War Department. The Abolition 
Congress was again in session, and its work of 


proscription renewed. General Seott held on with 
a tenacity only equalled by that of Daniel Webster 
during President Tyler's administration. But he 
was just now the fifth wheel to the Abolition wagon, 
and seriously clogged their movements, and they 
resolved to adopt measures for the accomplishment 
of his removal, which even they had shrunk from 
save in the last extremity. So charges of treason 
were trumped up, and articles of indictment actually 
prepared. This last feather broke the camel's back, 
and he succumbed. 

The first step accomplished, it was determined to 
indulge the old man's avarice to the extent of their 
power. The public mind was prepared for what was 
to follow by daily statements of his sinking health, 
which alarmingly increased. 'His resignation was 
prepared. Lincoln and his Cabinet attended at his 
lodgings to hear it read, which being received, 
Lincoln, "standing " read to him the gracious act, 
securing to him for life his pay, and all the perqui- 
sites he had hitherto enjoyed.' After this, General 
Scott took a solemn leave of Lincoln, and eulogised 
his patriotism as second only to Washington's. That 
same afternoon he departed for Xew York, and gave 
his parting benediction to ' the young General, who, 
with his staff, in a pelting rain, accompanied him to 


the train, all dressed in black, like the Knight of the 
Raven Plume.'' 

Mr. Secretary Seward and Mr. Secretary Chase — 
with the mockery of honour — accompanied him to 
New York. Telegrams from each stopping-point 
gave desponding accounts of the health of the illus- 
trious exile from power and place. At last he 
reached New York, saw only Mr. John Van Buren, 
and embarked, after a few days, for France. Arriving 
there in due course of time, he seized upon the 
pretext of the Mexican and French imbroglio, and 
returned, in the next steamer but one, to New York, 
where he lives in elegant state upon the price of his 
honour — sic transit. (This account has been almost 
entirely taken from the Government organ.) 

The public were for a little while amused with the 
rumour that the defunct hero was to be sent as 
special ambassador to Mexico, but that, of course, 
was only a canard. 

The espionage over me was now greater than at 
any previous period. Life was almost unendurable ; 
an undefined nameless terror was stealing; over me 
of something more dark and terrible than I had yet 
been exposed to. This feeling may be appreciated, 
when it is remembered that I was a defenceless 
woman, in the hands of a party which had shrunk 


from no crime to cany out its ends. I was constantly 
assailed in its papers ; and some of my former friends 
and connections sought, instead of protecting me, to 
palliate and excuse the cowardly attacks. 

My anxiety was not allayed by receiving a secret 
communication to be on my guard, ' as an infernal 
plot teas hatching against me ; ' at the same time en- 
closing extracts from Abolition papers, stating that I 
had ' lost my mind, and that it was rumoured that 
the Government intended to remove me to a private 
lunatic asylum.'' My blood freezes even now, when 
I recall my feelings at the reception of this com- 
munication, and I wonder that I had not gone mad. 

My equanimity was by no means restored at this 
time by the announcement that the Surgeon-General 
of Pennsylvania Volunteers, and several others, de- 
sired to pay their respects to me. I received him with 
smiles on my lips, and fear and hate in my heart. 
(I do not remember the name, as my journal was at 
a later period taken from me.) But he was very 
courteous, and apologised for intruding upon me, by 
saying that ' he had been most desirous of seeing a 
lady who had become so celebrated in the eyes of the 
ivorkV Our conversation was spirited, and upon 
the all-exciting topics of the times, in which I bore 
my part as an uncompromising rebel ; and, although 


the frightful idea was ever present, that this man had 
been probably sent for the purpose of dooming me 
to a madhouse, I jested lightly, defiantly, with him. 
Finally he said to me, ' Do you never find your mind 
giving way under this close solitary confinement?' I 
replied, ' Do you see any indications of aberration of 
mind?' He answered, 'Madam, you fill me with 
admiration and astonishment, not only by your 
cheerfulness, but from the wonderful knowledge 3^011 
have of what is going on ! I had never believed 
that any person could rise so superior to surrounding 
circumstances. For I know,' he continued, ' that the 
Government has placed such an estimate upon your 
capacity, as to resort to measures of unusual harsh- 
ness in your imprisonment.' ' Well,' I said, ' Doctor, 
I defy their skill to thwart any purpose of mine ; and 
so far from succumbing, I never felt my mind clearer 
or more capable of mischief against your Govern- 
ment than at this moment.' 

The visit, after some further conversation, termi- 
nated ; and I know not whether I was indebted to 
this gentleman, but I heard no more of the mad- 
house scheme. 

The officer of the guard, Lieutenant Sheldon, was 
not now allowed to hold personal communication with 
me. The guard were set -as spies upon each other, 


and upon him. They were ordered not to speak to 
me or answer questions, under penalty of severe 
punishment. One day a guard, by name Hebburn, 
gave me some ordinary information. Miss Poole, 
hearing him, sent for the corporal of the guard, and 
reported it. The poor man was dealt with very 
harshly in consequence. She also reported that my 
little child received some communication for me on 
the pavement, which was untrue, and the poor child 
was, from that time, doomed to as severe imprison- 
ment as I now endured.* This was, perhaps, my 
hardest trial — to see my little one pining and fading 
under my eyes for want of food and air, without the 
power to avert the terrible doom which seemed im- 
pending. The health and spirits of my faithful 
maid also began to fail, and I felt often tempted to 
exclaim, 'My God, let this bitter cup pass from 
me ! ' 

The winter had set in with unusual severity, and 
the heavens seemed in accord with the gloom of my 
own destiny. By reason of the inclemency of the 
weather, I was now deprived of my only remaining 
pleasure — that of receiving from afar the stealthy 
greeting of friends — stealthy for the reason that if 

* Lieutenant Sheldon subsequently informed me that Miss 
Poole had made this statement. 


seen to wave a hand towards my prison, arrest 
was sure to follow ; the reign of terror being now 
at its height. ISTo one, unless under similar circum- 
stances, can realise the extent of this deprivation. 

I remember, some years ago, when I was very 
young, being invited to meet the celebrated Italian 
exile Gonfallonieri, who had been a victim of Aus- 
trian despotism, and was* for many years in solitary 
confinement as a state prisoner. No knowledge from 
the outer world ever reached his dungeon. Empires 
had changed their destiny, and kings had fallen. 
The great Napoleon had ended his mortal career at 
St. Helena. Charles X. had been hurled from the 
throne of France, and Louis Philippe reigned in his 
stead. Of this he knew nothing until he reached 
New York, a prisoner no longer, but exile from 
friends and fatherland. 

I wept as I listened to his sad recital, and thanked 
God that my destiny had been cast in a land where 
crimes like this could never be committed, 

I did not then foresee that the scourge of Black 
Republican rule was to come upon us, and sweep 
from the New World every vestige of civil rights 
and freedom, as had been often done in the Old. 

M'Clellan, from having been lulled into a false 
security by the flatteries lavished upon him to that 


end, began now to realise all the difficulties of his 
position. The insensate cry of ' On to Eichmond ! ' 
was again raised, and his judgment sought to be 
overruled as to the means by which that feat was 
to be accomplished. 

M'CleUan had laboured hard to make his army 
the best appointed, and best disciplined, in the world ; 
and, considering the heterogeneous materials he had 
to work upon, he certainly had effected marvels. The 
programme which he had marked out for himself 
was fully in accordance with the wisdom and fore- 
sight he had displayed in other respects. He under- 
stood thoroughly the morale of his army, and that 
his only hope of success in invading the South was 
by overwhelming numbers. 

But Seward and the other Sachems of Abolition- 
dom did not intend that M'Clellan should reap the 
substantial fruits which the success of his plans would 
have placed within his grasp. The object for which 
he had been inflated to his present eminence, had 
been fully accomplished. General Scott had as 
completely passed away from the public mind, as 
if his funeral dirge had been already sung. So 
these ' carpet warriors,' who had already slain their 
thousands by the stroke of their pens, addressed 
themselves seriously to the work of checkmating 


M'Clellan, and would, had they dared, have removed 
him from his ill-starred eminence. 

M'Clellan had, however, succeeded in gaining the 
confidence, as I have said before, of a large party. It 
is true that he had done nothing, so far, to establish 
a claim to high consideration, having as yet per- 
formed no deeds of valour to entitle him to his 
laurel wreath, although his achievements in Western 
Virginia, in the early part of the campaign, had been 
absurdly exaggerated, as an excuse for his undue 
elevation. The popular voice, nevertheless, was in 
his favour, and cried loudly that he should be re- 
tained to carry out his programme. His soldiers 
were attached to him, and any attempt to suspend 
him would have been attended with hazardous 
results, until that army had been again demoralised 
by the hardships and exposure of another unsuccess- 
ful campaign. 

Had M'Clellan possessed the moral courage at this 
time to have boldly stated his ultimatum, and given 
in his resignation in case it was not complied with, 
he would have triumphed temporarily over his adver- 
saries, who were not prepared to push things to this 
extremity. They still believed Washington to be 
threatened by Beauregard, and, amidst the feasting 
and revelry of the Capitol, they were tremblingly 


alive to the idlest rumour of an advance. The forti- 
fications were being hourly strengthened and ex- 
tended, and large quantities of provisions and other 
stores were distributed in the basement of the 
Capitol, and public buildings, and throughout other 
portions of the city, in preparation for a siege. 

The public archives had been removed to Phila- 
delphia in the beginning of August, a short time 
after the battle of Manassas, when the panic was at 
its height, thereby creating great fright in the city of 
brotherly love, as the sealed yellow cases, in which 
those important State papers were conveyed, were 
supposed to be the Yankee dead from the disastrous 
plains of Manassas. So not only were the imagina- 
tions of the Philadelphians disturbed by the fear of 
the grim ghosts of the unassoilzied dead, but pesti- 
lence also ; and, hi order to allay the excitement 
consequent thereupon, it became necessary to make 
an official announcement of the character of the 
freight contained in the yellow cases. 

Unimportant as this incident may seem, it is still a 
part of the record of the days of panic. 





As if for the purpose of annoying me at this time, 
the few short and unsatisfactory letters which I sent 
j through the Provost-Marshal's Office were, upon one 
pretext or another, objected to. Upon one occasion 
II wrote to a friend to ' tell Cousin Lucy that I had 
i firm reliance upon Divine Providence' That was 
,t returned to me, with a note stating that 'all names 
,must be written in full, and no ambiguous expressions 
• used.' I thereupon, by way of protest, wrote to 
s suggest that the Provost-Marshal should issue a 
] printed circular, prescribing the formula to be used 
iby prisoners, as I was gifted with no faculty to 
' divine what he might consider ambiguous ; that the 
only expression which could possibly be incompre- 



hensible to him was that wherein I had expressed 
my reliance on Divine Providence ; and that he 
recalled to my mind a circumstance which had 
occurred in a much more civilised land than this. 
The British Parliament having, some years ago, 
instituted a commission to enquire into the moral] 
condition of the colliers, a learned divine, who 
formed part of that commission, reported on his 
return, in evidence of their state of moral i<mo- 
ranee, that on going to one of the largest collieries 
he asked, ''Does anyone know Jesus Christ here?' 
That the question reverberated through the pit, and 
the answer came thundering back — ' No ; we do n't 
know him. He do nt work here.' A similar response 
would probably be elicited from the Provost-Mar- 
shal's Office, as to a question of ' Divine Providence.' 

An order was also issued from the State Depart- 
ment, prohibiting me the purchase of the newspapers, 
or my being informed of their contents. This was in 
consequence of the publication of my letter to Mr. 
Seward. The utmost consternation prevailed as to 
the means by which it had reached Eichmond, as it 
was not intended that the secrets of the prison-house 
should be blazoned to the world. 

The 'New York Herald' published my letter, 
with the following editorial critique : — 

diablekie. 163 

' Mrs. Greenhow's Indignant Letter to Mr. 
Seward. — We are indebted to the Richmond "Whig" 
for the pungent letter which we publish to-day of 
Mrs. Rose Greenhow to Mr. Seward, touching her late 
imprisonment in her own house in Washington, as a 
Secession emissary. Having been released and sent 
over into Secessia, she doubtless furnished a copy of 
the letter in question to the journal from which it is 
extracted.* It is just such a philippic as one would 
•expect, under the circumstances, from a spirited, dash- 
'ing, active, and fearless female politician of the South 
{Carolina school of Secession malignants. She com- 
plains bitterly of the rude and offensive behaviour of 
sher gaolers ; but she forgets that men thus employed 
are very seldom remarkable for the refinements and 
'accomplishments, graces and gallantry of the fashion- 
-able circles of Washington. She discourses fluently 
: »but flippantly upon the freedom of speech, and upon 
(ier right to exercise it, and upon the cruel tyranny 
of her imprisonment ; but she forgets that while at 
(large in Washington she was a dangerous agent of a 
hostile army besieging our national capital. Grant 
kll the personal rights of freedom of speech and 
tction which Mrs. Greenhow demands, in the midst 

* I was not released, however, until more than six months 
iter this period. 


of tins great rebellion, and we may as well abolish 
our armies, and turn over the country to unrestrained 
ruffianism ; for under this system of liberty we should 
all be at the mercy of ruffians and robbers. 

' In those gay Secession circles which ruled the 
Court and Cabinet at our Federal city under the 
diluted rose-water administration of Mr. Buchanan, 
Mrs. Greenhow was a bright and shining light. She 
had no doubt shared with that brilliant and charming 
coterie, of which Mrs. Slidcll and Mrs. Gwin were 
the ruling spirits, that splendid Secession idea of the 
easy occupation of Washington by Jeff. Davis, his 
camp, Cabinet, Congress, and Government, and that 
under this new regime the fascinating coterie afore- 
said, including Mrs. Greenhow, would be exalted to 
a higher and an indefinite reign of beauty and glory. 
Mr. Seward, however, interposed like an evil ma- 
gician, and with a wave of his powerful wand 
destroyed all these beautiful castles in the clouds 
And so we can excuse this piquant and pungent 
letter of Mrs. Greenhow. Even the great Napoleon 
philosopher as he was, when cooped up at St. Helen: 
could not refrain from scolding.' 

On tne 20th December, the Judge-Advocate 
Colonel Key, came to call upon me. I. had seen hhx 


several times before. There was a certain laissez- 
aller about this officer very offensive to me. He 
was, or affected to be, very deaf, as an excuse for 
approaching very near in conversation. The second 
time I saw him, he attempted to take my hand, as he 
said, ' to find out whether I had ever done any work' 
I withdrew it, saying that my head had laboured 
more than my hands. 

Upon this occasion, however, his manner was re- 
spectful and earnest. He expressed anxiety to serve 
: : me ; said that he had thought my imprisonment 
; , impolitic ; that he was opposed to the policy of 
\ imprisoning women ; and that, although he came 
i now without being officially empowered to speak 
j with me on the subject of my release, he was free to 
) tell me that he had held conversations with some of 
'the heads of the Government on the subject, and that 
'they were greatly embarrassed to know what to do 
r with me. I answered, ' Oh, yes. They dare not hang 
me ; are afraid to release me ; and would like to 
encourage me to escape, in order that they might 
catch me and spirit me away' — having in mind the 
effort made a short time previous to induce me to 
attempt to escape. He smilingly continued : c The 
''Government have come to the conclusion that it is 
of "no use to attempt to make terms with you ; that 



between you and them it is, Do your worst to the end 
of the war ; and the only way left is to treat you as 
the British Government did Smith O'Brien — banish 
you.' He then said quickly, ' What terms would you 
be willing to subscribe ? ' My heart beat wildly, for 
even that chance gleam of freedom agitated me. I, 
however, crushed down the impulse — for I saw that 
he was watching me very narrowly — and answered, 
4 None, sir. I demand my unconditional release, 
indemnity for my losses, and restoration of my papers 
and effects.' He said, ' These last I cannot under- 
take, for I know that your papers will not be given 
up ; and all the effects of rebels will be confiscated. 
I may not,' he continued, ' be able to accomplish 
anything in regard to your personal freedom, as there 
is a very strong influence against you. But I think 
you had better let me make the best terms I can.' 
I replied, ' Freedom is sweet ; and, although I have 
suffered much, there are many things dearer to me, 
and I will not compromise a principle even though I 
am detained as a prisoner for the war — the sentence, 
I learn, already pronounced against me.' He inclined 
his head, and then spoke of still greater hardships to 
which I might be exposed, and professed himself 
greatly interested in my situation. I told him that I 
would require time to think over all he had said, and 


that I was at the present wholly unprepared to 
terminate a conference upon the subject, and that I 
would desire him to call again. He requested me to 
write to him through the Provost-Marshal's Office, as 
he could not venture to call otherwise, as it would 
subject him to the suspicion of Southern sympathies. 
This will serve as another illustration of that iron 
despotism which forbade even the exercise of ordinary 
humanity. This man was a native of Maryland, and 
paid the penalty of treason to his State by the suspi- 
< cious vigilance of his new masters. 

On Christmas-day Mrs. Douglas sent, through the 

Provost-Marshal's Office, a large cake and other little 

tokens to my little girl, which made her very happy 

and bright. Lieutenant Sheldon also, by a stretch 

of authority, allowed her to go out and join in the 

festivities of the day at the houses of several of her 

young friends. Other tokens of respect and affection 

reached me through less orthodox channels ; and so, 

I if the day was not a happy one, it was at least 

'i marked by no disagreeable incident — as if to contrast 

1 it with the dark ones immediately to follow. 

1 On the 26th, I received a note by my little bird, 

: warning me that an attempt would be made to 

| remove me to a Northern prison — that a telegram 

had been sent to Fort Warren, to hold in readiness a 


room for me there. At the same time I was assured 
that I should be rescued in case this was done — that 
my friends only awaited my orders — that my prison 
was watched by them day and night, and signals 
agreed upon, &c. 

My house, which had been transformed into a 
Government prison, now became a sort of Mecca. 
Strangers visiting Washington thronged to see the 

O <0 Q <D 

y( l residence of so ' noted a rebel,' and the newspapers 
pandered to the greedy curiosity to know some- 
thing of my habits and tastes. The apartments of 
the unfortunate Marie Antoinette were not more 
thoroughly scrutinised, or her occupations for the 
weary hours given with more minute details, than 
were mine. 

The house was called Fort Greenhow. Photo- 
graphs of it appeared in several of their illustrated 
papers, and their mimic ' Punch,' ' Vanity Fair,' 
devoted a number to me, wherein, with very heavy 
wit, it proved that I, a simple woman, had out- 
witted Seward, and discomposed the whole Yankee 

Coarse abuse w T as ofttimes levelled against me, 
which they took care should reach my ear. These 
cowardly vituperations passed harmlessly by, as I had 
a proud consciousness of superiority, and regarded 


them as testimonials in favour of my devotion to the 
cause of my country's freedom. 

Other prisoners were from time to time brought 
in, and generally of the lowest class, with the ex- 
ception of Mrs. Eleanor Lowe, an English lady, whose 
son was in the Confederate service, and the Posey \ 
family of Maryland, who were most estimable people. / 
These were, however, only detained for a few days, 
upon suspicion of giving signals to the Confederate 
army across the Potomac. 

On the 30th of December, a woman named Baxley 
was confined as a prisoner. She was arrested on 
the Truce boat, by reason of her garrulous boasting \y. 
of having gone to Bichmond to obtain a commission ' 
for her lover, one Dr. Septimus Brown, of having 
nuts from President Davis's table, and of instructions 
to open communication with my prison ; being also, 
as she said, the bearer of a letter to me. All this, I 
need scarcely say, was the result of a disordered 
imagination, although it afforded a pretext for what 
was to follow. The conduct of this woman on ar- 
riving at the prison confirmed the impression enter- 
tained at the time of her arrest, of her being non 
compos mentis. She raved from early morn till late 
at night, in language more vehement than delicate. 
I was an involuntary listener to her cries and impre- 


cations, and pity and disgust were often strangely 
commingled. My chief care was to prevent my 
child from hearing much that was unfit for her ear. 
But I felt the horrors of my position hourly in- 

Occasional excitement was now produced in the 
prison by the real or affected faints of Miss Poole and 
this Mrs. Baxley — the premonitory symptoms being 
a loud cry, and heavy fall upon the floor of one or 
other, followed by the call of the sentinel on duty, of 
' Corporal of the guard, No. 3 ! ' This individual 
usually rushed to the rescue, accompanied by two 
or three of the stoutest sentinels, bayonet in hand — 
the officer of the guard bringing up the rear, with 
the judicial gravity of Sancho Panza, conspicuously 
flourishing a brandy bottle, that being the masculine 
panacea for all the ills of life. 

On the 29th, I wrote again to the Honourable 
Wm. H. Seward, thinking that he had had time suf- 
ficient to digest the contents of my first letter, which, 
in consequence of its publication in the ' New York 
Herald,' and other papers, formed the subject of 
conversation in all circles in Washington. Friend 
and foe united in ascribing to it a degree of 
literary merit to which it had no claim. I was 
amused at the various criticisms passed upon it by 


the refined ladies of President Lincoln's Court. They 
were horrified that I should have spoken so plainly 
of the infamies to which I had been exposed, al- 
though their sensibilities were not shocked at the 
fact that, in a Christian age, a lady should have 
suffered these outrages — only that she should pro- 
claim them. This is but a fair sample of the morality 
of the ' New Begune.' 

On the morning of the 5th of January, as I at- 
tempted to pass from my chamber to my library, I 
was startled, but not surprised, at finding a double- 
guard stationed at my door, with instructions not to 
allow me to quit my chamber until Lieutenant 
Sheldon had returned from the Provost-Marshal's. 
Since the evening of the 26th, I had seen indications 
of some new tactics. The detective police had been 
in constant attendance for four or five days. Conse- 
quently I was prepared for any extraordinary display 
of their inventive genius. 

Miss Poole had been allowed unlimited range of 
the house at all hours of the day or night. This con- 
cession was purchased by surveillance over me. My 
child had been closely confined upon her represen- 
tations, as was also my maid, and the attempt of 
several of the guard to communicate information to 
me had been likewise reported. All knowledge of 


the outer world which now reached me was in 
writing. Her room adjoining mine made it im- 
possible for me to speak to anyone. 

The newspapers reached me sometimes, in spite 
of the rigid prohibition. I, however, was obliged to 
destroy them as soon as read, for fear of their dis- 
covery bringing harm to those who furnished them. 

The ' Government organ,' which I received at this 
time, contained an article headed 'Daring attempt 
to rescue the dangerous rebel, Mrs. Greenhow.' It 
went on to say that, on the 27th, a cake had been 
brought to my house by a suspected party ; that on 
examining it, a large number of Treasury notes were 
found concealed in it, together with a note describing 
a plot for my escape and conveyance into Virginia, 
the money sent being to bribe the guards ; that so 
dangerous a person as I was should be conveyed to 
a place of greater security, and that the Government 
had determined to remove me to some one of the 
Northern bastiles, out of reach of my sympathising 

This was so absurd that, in spite of the dan- 
ger it foreshadowed, I could not help being amused 
by it. I could iioav understand why double guards 
had been stationed all around the house, an ad- 
ditional force having been detailed for the purpose, 


and for several nights they had been under arms, 
with double cartridges served out to them. It was, 
of course, all for the purpose of giving plausibility to 
the cake story, and justification for the acts of villany 
in contemplation. I had defied and exposed their 
infamous secret police system, every member of which 
hated me, and they now resorted to this clumsy 
device as a means of gratifying their malignant spite, 
as well as to inspire me with a wholesome dread for 
the future. 

It is difficult to estimate properly the extent of 
the power and influence wielded by this corrupt 
organisation. It had so acted upon the nervous 
fears of Lincoln, Seward, M'Clellan, & Co., by the 
. discovery of murderous plots which existed by virtue 
of their inventive genius only, as to acquire complete 
ascendency over them. A detective guard was ap- 
pointed for the protection of each. The Chief of 
Police took precedence of everyone in obtaining 
audience, and had access to the representatives of the 
Government at any hour of the clay or night. And 
there was no officer of the Government too high to 
dread their influence. General Stone, of the old 
United States army, owed his arrest and disgrace to 
these creatures. In fact, they now were the power 
behind the throne, and their very names inspired 


terror, and were whispered with livid lips by the 
trembling victims within reach of their power. 

The sound of my own voice now appeared strange 
to me, and I often read aloud, that I might not lose 
the power of modulating its tones. 

I felt that a crisis in my destiny was rapidly ap- 
proaching. On the evening of the 4 th an order was 
given that the prisoners should not leave their quar- 
ters after six o'clock. This had clearly no reference 
to me, as I never went beyond my own apartments ; 
but it confined Miss Poole to hers, whereupon she 
had one of those remarkable fainting fits which I 
have described before. 

The officer of the guard now returned from the 
Provost-Marshal's, and the corporal came to an- 
nounce to me that the prohibition had been removed, 
and I was at liberty to go to my library. I break- 
fasted with my child, and seated myself at my usual 
occupation for this hour — that of giving her lessons. 
By this time I learned that a guard had been 
stationed inside of Miss Poole's room. I was very 
much shocked, for I could not imagine what the 
unfortunate woman had been doing to have brought 
this severity upon herself. I attempted to enter my 
chamber, and was told that I could not go into it. 
Hearing the sound of men's voices within, I readily 


comprehended that Mr.. Seward's secret police were 
at work, in order to obtain the copy of the second 
letter I had written to him a few days before. But, 
as in the first instance, my copy had gone out simul- 
taneously with the original, which was held back 
until that object had been accomplished. 

I returned to the library, and destroyed all the 
papers which I feared to fall into them hands. 

In about two hours the officer of the guard came 
to the library, looking as pale as marble, followed by 
the corporal and two of the guard, all armed — the 
officer having on his belt and sword, and the others 
with musket and bayonet. Looming in the distance 
were the shadows of those evil spirits, the detective 
Allen or Pinkerton, with several of his satellites. 
The officer of the guard touched his hat and said, 
4 Mrs. Greenhow, will you please walk downstairs ? ' 
I arose, and, after glancing around without speaking, 
obeyed. I beheved that the detectives thought that 
I would resist, and therefore came prepared with 
brute force to execute their will, and I was resolved 
to give them no advantage over me by losing my 
temper. But none can tell the effort it cost me to 
control myself. The most brutal of the guard had 
i been selected for this morning's work. I was de- 
tained about an hour out of my apartments, when I 


was notified that I could return to them. I was 
fully prepared for what was to follow. The north 
window of the library had been sealed and nailed 
up, and my journal and every scrap of paper had 
been taken from my writing-desk and table ; and, 
upon examining my wardrobe, I found that several 
valuable articles of clothing had been abstracted. 
Whether this had been done by the detectives or 
the guard, I am not prepared to say. 

On the morning of the 6th I sent to the officer of 
the guard to demand pen, ink, and paper ; also that 
I might be allowed to purchase the newspaper. He 
returned for answer that General Porter had ordered 
that I should not be allowed to have either. I sent 
a second time, to say that I wished to write to the 
Judge-Advocate, Colonel Key. Thereupon he sent 
me a single sheet of paper, and pen and ink. I 
wrote that same day to Colonel Key, stating that I 
was now prepared to hear what he had to say to 
me further upon the subject of my release. With a 
courtesy very remarkable for an employe of the 
Abolition Government, he came immediately on the 
receipt of my note, but appeared embarrassed and 
ill at ease. He told me that circumstances had 
occurred since I last saw him which made him fear 
that he had lost all power to serve me. He asked 


me what proposition I had to make. I replied that 
in my last interview I had defined my position, and 
stated my ultimatum. He said it had been spoken 
of to send me North, but that it had been objected 
to on the ground that I might institute legal pro- 
ceedings against the Government, which would give 
them some trouble. I replied, ' Which I should 
most unquestionably do.' He said, unfortunately 
the publication of my letter to Seward, and another 
couched in terms of still greater bitterness, had 
; aroused great indignation against me, and he ques- 
tioned whether the subject of my release would be 
mow entertained. I replied that I did not question 
J his sincerity, as he had given me a strong reason — in 
jtthe fact that he was going with M'Clellan into Vir- 

■ ginia — in support of it ; but I very much doubted 
whether the parties who had authorised him to 
speak on the subject with me had been honest 
originally in their intentions, but had rather designed 
through that means to obtain some indications from 

"me. I then related the late domiciliary visit to 

■ which I had been subjected. Upon this he made no 
comment, but alluded enigmatically to the power 
: arrayed against me, and left me, saying that he 
'would return in a short time, after consultation with 

parties whom he would not name. He did return 



in about two hours, and gave me the very consola- 
tory information that, on account of the ' dangerous 
extent of the knowledge T possessed, it was deemed, 
inexpedient to release me. He refused to tell me 
whose influence had been exerted against me ; but 
I already knew that it was Seward and M'Clellan, 
' instigated by the detective Allen.' 




my second letter to seward — our commissioners— at my 
own house — seward's sketcn of john brown — on arts — 
seward's reveries— bribery and corruption. 

From the rough notes in my possession, I am 
enabled to supply a copy of my letter to Seward of 
December 27th. By a fatality which it would not 
be safe to explain, the copy which I sent out never 
reached the hands for which it was designed : — 


1 "Washington, 398 Sixteenth Street. 
' December 27. 

' Sir, — I wrote to you some five weeks since, and 
I am not surprised at receiving no response to my 
letter — for where all law is set at defiance, it is not 
to be supposed that the rules of good breeding shall 
be adhered to. Neither am I astonished that a letter 
addressed to the Secretary of State, containing a 


grave appeal to his humanity against gross outrages, 
should form the subject of conversation amongst his 
subordinates in their drunken orgies in bar-rooms 
and hotels. This new era has inaugurated new 

' Aut Ccesar aut nullus is said to be your motto. 
My object in addressing you is to bid you pause in 
this your onward march — to survey the ruin you 
have already wrought — and, if there be one latent 
spark of philanthropy still dormant in your soul, to 
kindle it in the cause of suffering humanity. For 
this cruel war lies at your door, and not at that of 
my brethren of the South. 

' In order to refresh your memory as to the 
errors you have committed, it is necessary that I 
should make a brief summary of the history of the 
past. We all know of the crusade which for years 
has been waged against the institutions of the South 
— beginning; at Exeter Hall in England, re-echoed at 
Faneuil Hall in Boston, and from thence spreading 
like a pestilence throughout the whole North. The 
best talent was employed to decry the institution of 
slavery. Eomance-writers exercised their inventive 
genius to draw thrilling pictures of its horrors. 
The pulpit lent its powerful aid, and fulminated 
the thunders of the Church in terms of burn- 


ing eloquence, until a feeling of fanaticism was 
aroused rarely equalled in fury, and men rose to 
power only as they favoured the madness of the 

' The political party at the North seized upon this 
fanatical element as a means for the realisation of 
its ambitious aspirations. All of its extraordinary 
assumptions were accepted as an integral of the 
Chicago Platform. You, Sir, were thrown aside as 
not being deeply enough committed to the John 
Brown raid (although you had subscribed to the 
Helper book) to be trusted as the standard-bearer, 
and a more facile chief chosen. And the battle-cry 
was — not the triumph of the Constitution, or the 
preservation of our glorious Union, but — "Down with 
the institution of slavery in the South ! " as a means 
to subjugate that section. 

' Well, Sir, the battle was fought and won, by an 
.overwhelming sectional majority in favour of the 
j" higher law " party. The constitutional or Southern 
party, at the head of which stood Mr. Davis, the 
present President of the Confederate States, said, 
"•' Wait ! Whilst a single plank of safety remains, 
Let us stand by the government established by the 
svisdom of our fathers." 

' Congress met. The Southern members of it 


took their seats, solemnly impressed with the obli- 
gation upon them to do all in their power to settle 
the questions at issue whilst there was yet time. 
Separate appeals were made to the dominant party, 
in both houses of Congress, and all the inevitable 
consequences of a failure to compromise the diffi- 
culties upon a firm basis were placed before them in 
strong but temperate language. 

' Various acts of legislation were attempted, such 
as the Crittenden resolutions, &c, but all voted down 
by your party. During the discussions upon these 
momentous questions, the Southern members partici- 
pated with a gravity and freedom from excitement 
commensurate with the importance of the crisis it 
foreshadowed. Did the Abolition majority heed 
their cries for justice ? No ! The calmness of the 
Southern party was regarded as the paralysis of fear, 
and jeers were levelled at them, and threats made 
that if they did not " submit" to be ruled with a 
good grace, " their State organisations should be 
taken from them, and governors put over them from 
Massachusetts or Illinois."* 

' And thus the winter passed on, in vain and futile 

* From speech made in the Senate, by Senator Baker, of 


efforts upon the one side, and insolent and arrogant 
threats on the other. 

' You, Sir, when appealed to from your place in 
the Senate as the acknowledged Premier of the new 
President, for some declaration of policy calculated 
to allay the excitement, replied that, " in two or 
three years, when this eccentric movement shall have 
passed away, you might favour some measure of 

' The forbearance of the Southern party was not 
yet exhausted. On the 4th of March, President 
Lincoln took his seat, and they still hoped that he 
would recognise the gravity of the impending crisis, 
and give some guarantee which might allay the 
popular excitement. But he treated the matter with 
unbecoming levity — affected to see nothing extra- 
ordinary in the state of the country — proclaimed that 
'■'•there was nobody hurt" — although he had reached 
the Capitol in disguise, and was inaugurated in the 
presence of an armed force greater than had ever 
assisted at the coronation of an Autocrat of the 

' Meanwhile, the Peace Congress, which had as- 
sembled in the city of Washington, was still sitting, 
and its session was consumed in unproductive dis- 
cussion, carried on by the Abolitionists in a spirit 


of violence and intolerance never witnessed before, 
save in the National Assembly of France during the 
Reign of Terror. It finally adjourned without the 
agreement to a single measure of compromise, and 
the Southern members of it returned to their homes, 
with the conviction on their minds that there was 
nothing left for them but the unconditional surren- 
der of their rights, or the last and final appeal of 
nations — to arms ! 

' With a foresight worthy of imitation, South 
Carolina had already passed her ordinance of Se- 

' The Virginia Convention had commenced its 
session in the city of Eichmond on the 13th day 
of February. The ablest men in the State had been 
selected to represent her in that august body, and 
their deliberations were conducted with the patriot- 
ism and wisdom of the councils of '7G. They 
foresaw the devastating war which was before 
them — that Virginia was destined to be the battle- 
field — and, in the exercise of their solemn duty, they 
were impelled, in the name of common humanity, 
to do all in their power, short of the sacrifice of 
national honour, to delay the catastrophe until the 
passions of men had had time to cool, and in the 
hope of the sober reaction to follow. Hence, a 


majority of the Convention favoured the armed 
] neutrality of the State, and opposed the ordinance 
i of Secession. 

' Your party were well advised of the temper 

i of the Convention, and determined to precipitate 

matters ; for they had no wish for a peaceful solution 

of the difficulties, and resolved to kindle the torch of 

civil war at once. Your President was induced by 

yourself and the other ultra leaders to issue his 

(proclamation, calling for 75,000 men for the defence 

i of the Capitol. In one hour after this proclamation 

i reached Eichmond, the ordinance of Secession was 

; passed. 

' Your cry that " the Capitol is in danger " was 
responded to with alacrity ; but your soldiers, on 
reaching Washington, were surprised to find every- 
thing peaceful and quiet, and men and women pur- 
suing their usual avocations, as if the tocsin of alarm 
J had not been sounded throughout the land, and no 
I hostile demonstration visible anywhere. 

' Why is this ? they asked. For what have we 
i been summoned from our families and homes ? It 
\was but the first step in your programme of lawless 
usurpation. You had boldly seized the power which 
the Constitution had vested in Congress alone. And 
it was no part of your plan that men should analyse 


your acts. One of your most trusted councillors, 
Baker, of Oregon, declared to me that your President 
was elected by a Northern majority — that they were 
becoming dissatisfied, and it was necessary that he 
should strike some decided blow in order to make a 
united Northern party. 

* It was with this end in view that the attack on 
Fort Sumter was planned, in order to force upon 
South Carolina the initiatory step of resistance ; and 
you deliberately doomed to destruction the brave 
but misguided men who composed the garrison of 
the fort — for your ships lay outside of the bar, with 
orders not to go to her relief — and when Anderson, 
fathoming your intent, surrendered after having held 
an untenable post as long as the rules of military 
honour required, deep disappointment was felt by 
your Government at Washington that the whole 
garrison had not been sacrificed, in order that you 
might parade the blood of the victims, along with 
the insult to the national flag, as a rallying cry. 
And it was seriously debated amongst you as to 
whether Anderson should not be tried as a traitor. 
But it was necessary, in order to carry out your 
programme, that he should play the hero. It is a 
fact worthy of note, however, that lie was thence- 
forward deprived of all command. 


' Your cry that the national flag had been out- 
raged, was answered by a howl from the Abolition 
hordes of the North ; and so for the time your object 
was accomplished, and a united North presented her 
formidable front. 

' It is your boast that you have 700,000 men in 
the field for the subjugation of the South. I do not 
doubt but that you can raise a million — for all your 
industrial resources are paralysed, your factories are 
idle, your commerce destroyed, and your people 
want bread. It is this which has filled your ranks, 
and not patriotism. 

' You have, Sir, brought about a mighty revo- 
lution, whose tide is even now surging towards your 
own homes. You have suspended the law through- 
out the land, and, by your secret police, hold the 
assassin's knife at the throats of your own people. 
'The mist of fanaticism, which makes them for the 
present but blind instruments in your hands, will 
pass away ; and he who raises the whirlwind does 
not always ride upon it into a harbour of safety. 

' So far, what have you achieved by this total 
disruption of the entire social system, with your 
vast armies and the expenditure of untold millions ? 
Nothing but to make Washington a safe and pleasant 
abiding place for President Lincoln and his Cabinet. 


' You cannot conquer us, Sir. A nation armed 
in the defence of her rights is under the protection 
of God. In every encounter we have demonstrated 
our superiority, and driven your countless legions, 
with all the appliances of modern warfare in their 
favour, disastrously from the battle-field. 

' You may seek to overwhelm us by still greater 
numbers, and lay waste our land from the Potomac 
to the Gulf of Mexico ; and if our men fall in the 
defence of our rights and our firesides, our women 
will take their places, and die with their natural 
protectors — for already they know what mercy 
they have to expect from the " irrepressible conflict " 

' We may not successfully compete with you in 
the open field, but we will then defeat you by 
stratagem. And beware lest you drive us to secret 
organisation, or you in your day may experience 
that the vengeance of man is swifter than that of 

' No, Sir, 3-011 cannot subdue a people endowed 
with such a spirit of resistance ; and, although we 
may yet wade through oceans of blood, we will 
achieve our independence, or leave our whole 
Southern land one howling wilderness, and a monu- 
ment to all future time of the crimes of your party. 


' Oh, Sir, let this terrible lesson suffice. Let the 
wail of the widow and the orphan throughout this 
wide land touch your heart, and give us peace ere 
the gulf be widened between us. Give us peace ere 
you have trailed that once proud emblem of our 
former greatness at the feet of our arrogant heredi- 
tary foe. Do this, and the crimes you have already 
committed may be forgotten, and I could find it in 
my heart to forgive the evils you have inflicted 
upon me. 

' I have the honour to be, &c. &c. &c. 


This letter was written prior to the surrender of 
our commissioners, Mason and Slidell, and I cannot 
be supposed to have been very solicitous that Mr. 
Seward should uphold the dignity of Yankeedom. 
'Neither did I expect that he would ; for I knew that 
his cowardice would shrink from assuming the re- 
sponsibility of the acts of his agent, Wilkes, at the 
same time that his casuistry and cunning would 
afford a plausible mask for the real feelings which 
guided his decision. 

Contempt and defiance alone actuated me. I had 
mown Seward intimately, and he had frequently 
enjoyed the hospitalities of my table, and at a time 


when few had the moral courage to countenance 
him. Upon his return from Europe, shortly after 
the miserable fanatic John Brown had paid the 
penalty of his crime, Mr. Seward was dining at my 
house with a large party, amongst whom were Mr. 
and Mrs. Charles Francis Adams. An unfortunate 
allusion was made to some circumstances connected 
with the affair at Harper's Ferry, when Mrs. Adams 
launched out into a panegyric on John Brown — 
calling him that ' holy saint and martyr,' turning 
her glance full upon me at the time — to which I 
replied, in a clear and audible voice — for it may be 
supposed that this conversation silenced all other — 
' I have no sympathy for John Brown : he was a 
traitor, and met a traitor's doom;' and, turning to 
Seward, I remarked, ' I think you evinced very good 
taste in repudiating all connection with John Brown 
in your speech a few days since in the Senate.' In 
reply, he said — ' I remember to have met him once, 
and but once only. He called on me about some 
matter of business, the nature of which I don't 
now recollect. He struck me as a wild and visionary 
man, erratic in his ways, and singularly striking in 
his appearance. But, at the same time, in our brief 
interview, he impressed me with the conviction that 
he was a bold, truthful, and honest man, but eccentric 


\ to a degree bordering on an unsettled state of mind. 
( I was at this time busy with my preparations for 
I going to Europe, and necessarily crowded with 
affairs, and the interview entirely passed from my 
mind until this unfortunate occurrence, in which I 
] have been sought to be implicated, and which clearly 
proves the correctness of my original suspicion as to 
: the unsettled state of his mind.' Colonel George 
■ Magruder remarked that his conduct at Harper's Ferry 
Uiad not sustained Mr. Seward's impression of his cha- 
'iracter, as it proved that he was not free from fear, 
"from the vice of lying, and of robbery, and of theft, 
•Seward replied, in an indifferent tone, ' I knew 
f; nothing about him — only saw him once for a few 
moments — and the impression was very much weak- 
ened by the new scenes through which I have since 
'passed.' The conversation at this point diverged, 
! and Seward aided me with great skill in directing it 
•into a new channel. Mr. Adams, who was sitting 
J on the other side of me, remained perfectly silent, 

I should have shrunk from the most distant 
^allusion to these incidents, had they not become 
•matters of public notoriety. President Buchanan 
e spoke to me on the subject, to which I replied, 
1 ' Do you keep spies in my household ? ' I was very 
-much vexed, for I had hoped that the social gather- 


ings of so humble an individual as myself would 
have escaped observation. He said, ' How you talk ! 
I have heard it spoken of by live or six persons, 
who all greatly commended your spirit and inde- 
pendence. And you have my most hearty approval.' 
Honourable Henry D. Wilson, of Massachusetts, told 
me also that the Blaek Republicans blamed Mrs. 
Adams very much, and thought the demonstration 
on her part ' very ill-timed.'' A few days after I 
encountered Mr. Seward, and he approached me, 
saying, ' I have just been writing to our friend Lady 

N , and have told her that in all Washington 

you were the only person who had the indepen- 
dence to give a mixed dinner party ' (alluding to 
the strong social lines of division which were then 
drawn between the Southern and Northern parties). 
I replied, ' And you may also add, that I am so well 
satisfied with the result of that experiment that I 
shall not try it again.' 

Perhaps, had he fathomed my real object, he 
would not have been so grateful to me for the social 
countenance. At this early day I saw foreshadowed 
what was to follow, and I desired to obtain a 
thorough insight into the plans and schemes of those ; 
who were destined to become the prominent actors J 
in the fearful drama, in order that I might turn it to \ 


the advantage of my country when the hour for 
action arrived. To this end I employed every 
■ capacity with which God has endowed me, and the 
result was far more successful than my hopes could 
have flattered me to expect. I had verbatim 
I reports of every caucus, of every Cabinet Council, 
J beginning with the hasty conclave convened on the 
morning of Lincoln's unexpected arrival in masque- 
rade at Willard's Hotel ; with piquant additions of 
private anecdotes of the distinguished pair, in which 
Mrs. Lincoln was described as boxing the ears of a 
buxom chamber-maid who inclined to© amiably to 
receive the salute of her illustrious spouse. 

Seward, at this time, verily believed in the fulfil- 
ment of his own predictions, that all things would be 
restored to quiet in thirty days. Like the ostrich, 
which buries its head in the sand at the approach of 
danger, he had wrapped himself in his self-sufficient 
pride, which, aided by his increased convivial habits, 
nade him see all things through the mirage of his 
?wn mind. His coadjutors entertained the same 
oelief, although based upon different grounds. With 
he vast power of the Federal Government in their 
lands, and with no constitutional scruples as to its 
ise, they believed that they had the means to 
corrupt so large a proportion of the prominent men 


of the South, that it only required them to use this 
moral suasion at will, to bring about the desired 
result. They had already employed it with such 
success as to make them confident of the future. 
Scott had been won to their support, through this 
nefarious influence ; Crittenden and Holt had been 
successfully tampered with, each bribed by the 
same bait — a seat on the Supreme Bench — which 
was never designed to be given to either. Charles 
Sumner actually recorded his vote in caucus in 
favour of Crittenden. Crittenden told me that he 
expected to receive the appointment. I asked a 
member of that caucus, Wilson, ' Will they give it 
to him?' ' I rather think not,' was the reply; ' but 
ive icill hold out the bait to them until they can't 
retreat.'' The recreant renegade Stanley, of North 
Carolina, who had some years before been defeated 
as the Abolition candidate for Governor of Cali- 
fornia, was bought to betray his native State by it 
being made Provisional Governor thereof. Other 
conspicuous instances I might cite ; but this record 
belongs to the historian, whose duty it is to brand 
those traitors for all time with the mark of Cain 
rather than to this simple record of my own suffer- 
ings and personal experience. 






vStanton was now in the full exercise of his preroga- 
itives as Secretary of War. He had been introduced 
[into the Abolition Cabinet solely to bring about the 
-deposition of M'Clellan, whose elevation in the first 
distance had been for a similar end. It was supposed 
ithat Stanton, in his character of quasi democrat — 
based upon the fact that, as a dernier ressort, he had 
been selected in the last days of Mr. Buchanan's 
Administration to fill a vacancy — would draw around 
•him the Conservative party, which had hitherto 
constituted M'Clellan's strength. These political jug- 
glers were not aware of the facts that Stanton had 


never enjoyed the confidence of any party ; that he 
was viewed as an astute cunning lawyer, rather than 
a profound one ; and that he had only received the 
appointment in Mr. Buchanan's Cabinet, after re- 
peated failures to induce Southern men to take the 
position ; and his appointment was regarded as an 
evidence of the weakness and unpopularity of the 
Administration, and entire loss of the confidence of 
the Southern party. 

I must take occasion here to disclaim all intention 
of casting an imputation upon Mr. Buchanan per- 
sonally, for whose ability and high moral worth I 
have the most profound appreciation. He was full 
of honours as of years, and unfit to grapple with the 
terrible events which crowded upon the closing 
period of his Administration. He had grown old in 
the service of his country, and cherished a holy 
reverence for its institutions, and would, I believe, 
have sacrificed his own life to have averted the 
doom of disruption, and sought,^tt least by a nega- 
tive policy, to stay its progress. By a fatality of 
birth, he was thrown on the wrong side when the 
sectional division came. But he nevertheless carries 
with him to the retirement of Wheatland — where 
I have spent many happy days — the affectionate 
remembrances of many of his old friends. 


Stanton, however, had full confidence in his own 
ability to bring about these desirable results, and in 
his turn received the laudations of the venal hireling 
Northern press — which now invariably concluded its 
panegyrics by styling him the ' Great Secretary,' 
endowing: him for the time with all the attributes of 
Queen Elizabeth's celebrated Prime Minister Burleigh, 
who had for nearly three centuries enjoyed the title 
of the ' Great Secretary,' until Mr. Attorney Stanton 
came to dispute it with him. 

Bennett, of the ' New York Herald,' being more 

honest or more astute than his contemporaries, was 

more stinted in his praise, and sometimes gave a 

I caustic analysis of the ordinances of this new god of 

the Abolitionists. 

Amongst the first of those ordinances which 
i emanated from the pen of the ' Great Secretary' was 
. the one commanding all officers and departments to 
\ report to the President as the Commander-in-Chief 
• of the Army and Navy, the responsibilities of which 
| position, according to this royal firman, he had 
i determined to assume ; another assigning M'Clellan 
i to the army of the Potomac, thereby deposing him 
i from the position of Commander-in-Chief, which he 
had enjoyed since he had aided so materially in 
consigning General Scott to the shades of private 


life, and ordering him very significantly to expedite 
his preparations for the ' On to Richmond.' 

It might have been supposed that M'Clellan — 
young, ambitious, and with an army to back his 
pretensions — would, if he had not absolutely rebelled 
against this summary ejectment, have at least shown 
himself restive in submitting to the fiat of the 
Pennsylvania lawyer, whose skill had hitherto been 
displayed in the ingenious use of legal technicalities 
of doubtful equity, and in making ' the worse appear 
the better cause,' according to the size of the re- 
taining fee. But in verity our young Napoleon 
showed himself imbued with a most Christian spirit ; 
for when smitten on one cheek he meekly turned 
the other — thereby rebuking the expectation of 
friend and foe — and set himself to the performance 
of the duty assigned him, hoping, like Mr. Micawber, 
' that something would turn up.' 

To Stanton belongs the credit of having perfected 
that mendacious system of official reports, which 
emanated from the Eepublican War Office. It had 
originated under his predecessor, Cameron, who was, 
however, not scholar enough always to observe 
geographical probabilities or grammatical accuracy 
in the exercise of his inventive genius. Those which 
Mr. Stanton promulgated, were liable to no fastidious 


criticism of that sort ; for, though equally efforts of 
imagination, they were nevertheless masterpieces as 
to literary merit, as well as from the effect they pro- 
duced upon the sympathetic pulse of the New York 
brokers and bankers. And it was a very usual 
circumstance, after one of those vermillion edicts 
from the ' Great Secretary,' to see published simul- 
taneously, in the same paper, ' The Secretary of the 
Treasury, Mr. Chase, goes to New York this evening, 
on financial business connected with his department.'' 
A novel but very successful means of raising the wind. 

Stanton was peculiarly fitted for the post he held 
as minister of a despot. Soft and deferential in his 
manners, to the point of servility when it suited him, 
he was insolent and arrogant to those whom the 
chapter of accidents placed in his power, though even 
this was tempered by a certain degree of prudence— 
for, like Seward, he was physically a coward. He 
affected great brevity of style, and an inquisitorial 
severity of manner, more suited to a criminal lawyer 
before the Old Bailey, than a Cabinet Minister of the 
nineteenth century. The public were often treated 
to descriptions of those audiences, and of he 
trembling victims who stood awe-struck before the 
haughty minister. 

I have alluded to the adventitious means at this 


time resorted to, for filling the depleted Abolition 
coffers. It would be an erroneous idea to suppose 
for a moment that those able financiers, the moneyed 
men of New England, looked upon their transactions 
with Mr. Secretary Chase from any other than a 
business point of view, in which each party was to 
drive the most lucrative bargain possible. They at 
least did not attempt to assume the flimsy thread- 
bare guise of patriotism. That was reserved for the 
people who were to be victimised, and led to the 
slaughter, in order that there might be a ' united 
Northern party.' 

The old facilities and avenues of trade being 
closed by the war. the capital of these Wall-Street 
princes was lying idle, and they sought the only 
chance of profitable investment by playing broker to 
the Government, and, as the risk was great, the 
returns were necessarily commensurate ; and Mr. 
Secretary Chase, in effecting his financial arrange- 
ments, did so at a cost that none but a gambler 
with a nation for a stake would have ventured. 
Enormous contracts for Government supplies also 
were given as additional bonus to those Wall-Street 
Shylocks, whose interest it became to ferment and 
keep up the war fever by every means in their power 

Stewart, the merchant-prince of New York, got a 


contract for furnishing jeans for the army, by which 
he made a million of dollars, and presented Mrs. 
Lincoln with a lace shawl, which was said to have 
cost three thousand dollars. The ' New York 
Herald ' described her appearance upon some occa- 
sion, with this queenly fabric around her. 

I saw Mrs. Lincoln once only, and paid a sixpence 
for the gratification of my curiosity. I was re- 
turning from the market-place, where I had gone 
to purchase some flowers and shrubs, one hot 
summer morning at an early hour, and in passing a 
small shop in the avenue saw, standing before it, the 
imperial coach, with its purple hangings and tall 
footmen in white gloves ; so, yielding to the instinct 
of Mother Eve, I went into the shop and there 
beheld a little woman bargaining for some black 
cotton lace, very much seemingly to the disgust of 
the shopwoman, who left her when I entered, and 
came to me. I enquired, ' Who is that ? ' for 
naturally I was curious to know which member of 
the family royal stood before me. ' Only Madam 
Lincoln. 5 I asked for some trifle, deposited my 
sixpence, and, feeling now that I had a legitimate 
right to look, made the most of the opportunity. 
She is a short, broad, flat figure, with a broad flat 
face, with sallow mottled complexion, light grey 


eyes, with scant light eyelashes, and exceedingly 
thin pinched lips ; self-complacency, and a slightly 
scornful expression, characterise her bearing, as if to 
rebuke one for passing betAveen the ' wind and her 
nobility.' Mrs. Lincoln, however, must be very 
tender-hearted, as she has been frequently known to 
express great compassion for the ' poor slaves whom 
God had made free, and the wicked Southerners 
had made this war to keep them in bondage.' 

Her dress, however, was very grand ; yet I do n't 
think that Eugenie or Mrs. Davis would have selected 
it for that hour and occasion. The gown was com- 
posed of a rich silk, of light ground, with gaudy 
flowers embroidered over it, lying in voluminous 
folds full half a yard on the ground. Point Yenise 
collar and sleeves, elaborately made up with pink 
ribands ; white hat, adorned with feathers and 
flowers interspersed with tinsel balls ; white parasol, 
lined with pink ; white gloves, and a superb mantle 
of black lace, completed her costume. These items 
were all very deliberately noted ; and, although not 
a very artistic description, it is nevertheless a precise 
inventory of Mrs. Lincoln's shopping toilet. 

On Saturday, January 18, at two o'clock, I learned, 
incidentally, that I Avas to be removed from my own 
house to another prison. I was sitting in the library 


reading, with my little one at my feet playing with 
her dolls, prattling, and beguiling me almost into 
forgetf illness of the wickedness and persecutions 
which beset me, until recalled by this startling 

I immediately sent for the officer of the guard, 
and demanded to know the facts. He told me that 
■he had orders not to communicate with me on the 
subject, or to speak with me at all, but would go to 
the Provost-Marshal, General Porter, and obtain 
further instructions. He returned, after a short 
time, with written orders from that functionary, 
fixing the hour for my removal. Detective Allen 
had the ordering and regulation of the necessary 
arrangements ; the few articles of clothing for myself 
land child, which I was allowed to take, were gathered 
together and packed, with a sentinel standing over, 
land examining each piece separately. Less than 
two hours was allowed me, before I was dragged 


from my home for ever. A covered wagon, sur- 
rounded by a file of soldiers, was ordered by Allen 
to be my conveyance to my new prison. Believing 
that I should feel humiliated by this indignity, 
Lieutenant Sheldon, however, positively refused to 
obey this order. 

Detective Allen was a German Jew, and possessed 


all the national instincts of his race in an exaggerated 
decree, besides having these inherent characteristics 
sharpened by Yankee association. 

Miss Poole, at this time, took the oath of alle- 
giance, and fifty dollars in gold from the Yankee 
Government, and went on her way rejoicing. The 
woman Baxley, also, applied to be released upon 
similar terms, which was refused, and she was sent to 
the Old Capitol Prison, upon which occasion I saw 
her for the first time. 

At about four o'clock I turned my back upon 
what had once been a happy home ; and, what was 
to me an additional grief, parted from my faithful 
maid, who had thus far stayed with me through all & 
my trials, and served me with a fidelity and devotion 
not often equalled in the higher walks of life. My 
child wept bitterly on parting from her, and I confess 
that the pathetic appeals of the faithful creature, to 
be allowed to follow my gloomy fortunes, quite 
unnerved me. 

The majority of the guard were drawn up in front 
of the house to witness my departure. Several of 
them had been very kind, and, on taking leave, I 
said, 'I trust that your next duty will be a more 
honourable one than that of guarding helpless women 
and children.' 


| I cast my eye up, and saw that the windows were 
Jill crowded with men, amongst whom I recognised 
several correspondents of the New York and Phila- 
lelphia press eagerly watching my words and looks. 

I reached the Old Capitol Prison just at dark ; 
out, whether in anticipation of some demonstration 
pn the part of my friends I know not, but the whole 
guard were under arms to receive me ; a general com- 
motion was visible in all directions, and it was evident 
that a great deal of interest and curiosity was felt as 
fo the destination of ' so noted a rebel.' The receiv- 
;Ui2;-room or office was crowded with officers and 
jothers, all peering at me. It was with a strange 
jfeeling of indifference that I found myself in this 
jjprison. I had already gone through so many trials, 
that this crowning act of villany could only elicit a 
jsmile of scorn. 

( I now parted from Lieutenant Sheldon, who had 
^entitled himself to my most grateful remembrance. 
His kindness to me had exposed him to the suspicion 
jpf his own Government ; and it was through his 
^instrumentality that I was now enabled to rescue 
jsome few cherished memorials from the general 
.-wreck of my effects. 

So soon as I left the house, the members of the 
press in waiting took advantage of the opportunity 


to examine my apartments, and for days after the 
principal Abolition journals throughout the whole 
country contained descriptions, speculations, &c. As 
a sample of the unceremonious manner in which I 
was paraded before the public, I have thought fit to 
give a few extracts from some of them. 



[Special Correspondence of the ' Press.'] 

Washington : Jan, 19, 1862. 

On Saturday afternoon, at 5 o'clock, the female traitors 
confined in the Sixteenth Street prison, a description of 
which I gave you in a former letter, were, by order of 
Provost-Marshal Porter, removed to the Old Capitol Prison, 
where quarters had been provided for them. Before 
entering the carriage that was to convey them to their new 
quarters, the prisoners took an appropriate farewell of all 
their guards — Mrs. Grreenhow saying to one of the soldiers, 
' Grood-bye, sir ; I trust that in the future you may have 
a nobler employment than that of guarding defenceless 
women.' Mrs. Grreenhow then advanced to Lieutenant 
Sheldon, who had charge of the prison -quarters, and 
thanked him for the uniform courtesy and kindness he 
had shown her during her confinement ; while little Rose 
Greenhow, who, at the request of her mother, will be im- 
prisoned with her, threw her arms about the Lieutenant's 
neck and embraced him. 


When Rose Greenhow entered the prison at Old Capitol 
Hill, she naively remarked to Lieutenant Wood, ' You 
ihave got one of the hardest little rebels here that you ever 
'saw. But,' said she, ' if you get along with me as well 
as Lieutenant Sheldon, you will have no trouble.' Mrs. 
Greenhow then, turning to her daughter, said to her, 
f Eose, you must be careful what you say here.' Eose, 
however, did not seem to think that the caution was at 
all necessary, and that, she would fare well in her new 

The prisoners are quartered on the second floor in the 
north-east end of the jail. 

This morning, when the rain was descending in torrents, 
and the sidewalks and streets were of the most impassable 
condition, we again visited the Sixteenth Street jail, the late 
quarters of the prisoners referred to. As we approached 
the prison we were again challenged by the guard, who 
this time was sheltering himself from the rain in the door- 
way of the building. We had seen faces at the windows 
of the upper stories when we entered here a few days 
before, but now they were gone. The form of the Lieu- 
tenant, however, soon appeared at the window, and for the 
second time we entered the room. 

The pictureof Gertrude Greenhow, the deceased daughter 
of Mrs. Greenhow, first attracted our attention. There 
was the same smile there, the same strange fancy of the 
3ye of which we have written before — so young and yet so 
fair — and for the moment we were entranced. Turning 
for the moment, and the beautiful portrait of Mrs. Moore 
diverted our sight ; then the Lieutenant welcomed us, and 
tve took a seat with him before a bright fire glowing on 
[he hearth. 


Now that the prisoners had departed, we were invited 
up into the rooms formerly occupied by them. The room 
in which Mrs. Greenhow was latety incarcerated is situated 
in the second-story back room. Besides this, Mis. Greenhow 
was allowed the use of the library, the property of her 
husband, who was a lawyer. The library is chiefly stored 
with law books, interspersed with books in the French and 
Spauish languages. Most of the time of Mrs. Greenhow was 
spent in this room, which was neatly furnished, and contain- 
ing, besides, a sewing machine, upon which the lady named 
did a great amount of sewing during her confinement. 

After night set in, she employed her time in reading as 
well as writing, and many of the fugitive verses written by 
her are still preserved. She frequently remained in this 
room until midnight before retiring to her apartment for the 
night. On the desk of the sewing machine, this morning, 
we found standing two bottles of fluid, which were fre- 
quently used by her in her correspondence to her friends 
outside the prison, so as to disguise it to the eyes of the 
guard. The plan pursued was to interline her letters by 
one of the fluids, which, on the application of a second, 
only known to those who were in the secret, was rendered 
perfectly intelligible. Thus it was that contraband infor- | 
mation could be conveyed by her to those who aided and 
abetted her in her treason. 

We are informed by Lieutenant Sheldon that of all the 
prisoners confined here, Mrs. Greenhow was the most 
lady-like in her manners and in her conversation. She is 
possessed of the finest education of any lady who has ever 
visited Washington ; and although rather severe at times 
in her denunciations of the North, vet she has shown her- 
self to be possessed of a woman's heart in her sad mo- 



ments, as witness the parting from her guard on Saturday. 
•She had a great horror of being conveyed to Fortress 
■'Monroe, as was first feared by her, and her change is the 
most acceptable one that she could have. 



A correspondent of the Philadelphia 'Press' gives a 
description of a visit to the house on Sixteenth Street^ 
in Washington, where female spies and rebels have been 
confined. He writes : — 

c When we visited the establishment referred to, we were 
admitted to the parlour of the house, formerly occupied by 
\irs. Grreenhow, fronting on Sixteenth Street. Passing 
through the door on the left, and we stood in the apart- 
ment alluded to. There were others who had stood here 
>efore us — we have no doubt of that— men and women of 
ntelligence and refinement. There was a bright fire 
(lowing on the hearth, and a t6te-a-tete was drawn up in 
jiront. The two parlours were divided by a red gauze, 
,nd in the back room stood a handsome rosewood piano- 
orte, with pearl keys, upon which the prisoner of the 
iouse, Mrs. Grreenhow, and her friends had often performed. 
fhe walls of the room were hung with portraits of friends 
nd others — some on earth and some in heaven — one of 
ihem representing a former daughter of Mrs. Grreenhow, 
Gertrude, a girl of sixteen summers, with auburn hair and 
ight-blue eyes, who died some time since. 

' In the picture a smile of beauty played around the lips, 
! nd the eyes are lighted with a strange fancy, such as is 
ften seen in the eyes of a girl just budding into woman- 



' On the east wall hangs the picture of Mrs. Florence 
Moore, whose husband is now in our army, while the walls 
of the back room are adorned with different pictures of 
the men and women of our time. Just now, as we are ex- 
amining pictures, there is a noise heard overhead — hardly 
a noise, for it is the voice of a child, soft and musical. 

' " That is Eose Greenhow, the daughter of Mrs. Green- 
how, playing with the guard," says the lieutenant, who has 
noticed our distractment. " It is a strange sound here ; you 
do n't often hear it, for it is generally very quiet." And the 
handsome face of the lieutenant is relaxed into a shade of 
sadness. There are prisoners above there — no doubt of 
that — and may-be the tones of this young child have 
dropped like the rains of Spring upon the leaves of the 
drooping flowers. A moment more and all is quiet, and 
save the stepping of the guard above there is nothing 

' The Sixteenth Street gaol has been an object of conside- 
rable interest for months past, to citizens as well as visitors. 
Before the windows of the upper stories were " blinded," 
the prisoners often appeared at these points, and were 
viewed by pedestrians on the other side of the way ; but 
since the " cake affair " of New Year's Day, the prisoners 
have been forbidden to appear at the windows, and the 
excitement, instead of having been allayed, has been still 
further increased. . . . 

'The report that the cake sent to Mrs. Greenhow, on 
New Year's Day, came from Mrs. Douglas, to whom Mrs. 
Greenhow sustains the relationship of aunt, is a mistake. 
The cake was sent by a party well known to the Govern- 
ment, upon whom a strict watch is kept.' . . . 


' These extracts will be sufficient to show in what 

manner I was made a spectacle of, in order to gratify 

tthe greedy appetites of the sensational North, and 

I the unenviable publicity to which I was condemned. 

1 Cause enough, if no other existed, for my deep 

■ contempt and detestation of a Government so lost to 

every instinct of propriety as to descend to that 

meanest of all persecutions — that of dragging my 

^name in the slough of its own hirelings. By 

I every principle of integrity and honour I was 

-i entitled to their protection, and they gave me such 

\ as the hyasna would give to the victim within reach 

of its fangs. 

The dignity of my little girl was very much 

" shocked at the part ascribed to her in the parting 

scene — that of throwing her arms around the neck of 

Lieutenant Sheldon — which, I need scarcely say, was 

i without a shadow of truth, being an effort of imagi- 

| nation on the part of the correspondent. 

Well, to continue my narrative, Mr. Win. P. 
Wood, the superintendent of the Old Capitol Prison, 
received me with great empressement. He appeared 
i fully sensible of the honour of being the custodian 
) of ' so noted a rebel. 1 The building itself was familiar 
to me. The first Congress of United States in 
Washington had held its sessions there ; but it was 



far more hallowed in my eyes by having been the 
spot where the illustrious statesman John C. Calhoun 
breathed his last. The tide of reminiscences came 
thronging back upon my memory. In the room in 
which I now sat waiting to be conducted to my cell, 
I had listened to the words of prophetic wisdom 
from the mouth of the dying patriot. He had said 
that our present form of Government would prove a 
failure ; that the tendency had always been, towards 
the centralisation of power in the hands of the 
general Government ; that the conservative element 
was that of States' rights ; that he had ever advo- 
cated it, as the only means of preserving the Govern- 
ment according to the Constitution ; that it was a 
gross slander to have limited his advocacy of those 
principles to the narrow bounds of his own State ; 
that he had battled for the rights of Massachusetts as 
well as for those of South Carolina ; and that, when- 
ever it came to pass, that an irresponsible majority 
would override this conservative element, that 
moment would the Union be virtually destroyed. 
That our system was not susceptible of long dura- 
tion ; that no Government could stand the shock of 
revolution every four years, and that as our popu- 
lation increased the danger became more imminent ; 
that upon this principle he had opposed the war 


with Mexico and the proposition for the purchase 
i of Cuba, as all acquisition of territory was likely to 
I bring about the agitation of the slavery question, 
: and arouse the fanaticism of the North, which was 
destined, at no distant day, to set aside the consti- 
tutional restraints which now held them but feebly 
in check, and eventually bring about a revolution. 
' I have lived,' he said, ' in advance of my time, but 
you in your generation will witness the fulfillment of 
my prophecy.' And now scarce a decade has passed, 
and his prophetic warnings have been realised ; 
and Abraham Lincoln has brought about the fulfill- 
ment of his prophecy, and written in words of blood 
upon the tablets of history that the ' Great Model 
Republic'' is a failure. 

After the lapse of some half-hour I was taken up 
to the room which had been selected for me by 
General Porter. It was situated in the back building 
of the prison, on the north-west side, the only view 
being that of the prison-yard, and was chosen 
purposely so as to exclude the chance of my seeing 
ia friendly face. It is about ten feet by twelve, and 
"furnished in the rudest manner — a straw bed, with 
ia pair of newly-made unwashed cotton sheets — a 
small feather pillow, dingy and dirty enough to have 
formed part of the furniture of the Mayflower — a few 


wooden chairs, a wooden table, and a glass, six by 
eight inches, completed its adornment : soldiers' 
rations being only allowed me by this magnanimous 
Pennsylvanian, who was doubtless driving a good trade 
by his patriotism. The second day of my sojourn 
in this dismal hole a carpenter came to put up bars 
to the windows. I asked by whose order it was 
done, and was informed by the superintendent that 
General Porter not only ordered it, but made the 
drawings himself, so as to exclude the greatest 
amount of air and sunlight from the victims of 
abolition wrath. Wood remonstrated against the 
bars, saying that they had not been found necessary ; 
whereupon Porter said, ' Oh, Wood, she (alluding to 
me) will fool you out of your eyes — can talk with 
her fingers,' &c. But to speak of myself — the door 
of this den is locked and barred, and the sentinels 
pacing up and down before it. 

I had scarcely entered my cell, when this same 
Dr. Stewart came in, attended by his hospital 
steward. I received him very coldly, and he with- 
drew after showing himself. 

On the 21st Dr. Stewart came in again, with his 
hospital steward, very unceremoniously — for I had 
no fastening on my door. He seemed determined to 
disturb my equanimity. I was in bed, not having 


arisen. The customs of our people made this seem 
a great outrage to me, so I told him that I trusted 
that his sense of delicacy would prevent his future 
visits to me, unless I desired his presence ; that I 
supposed that I had been sufficiently explicit upon 
former occasions ; that his Government had deprived 
me of my liberty, but that they could not force 
upon me civilities — and I supposed that his visit was 
intended as such — which I, from principle, declined 
to receive. With that he spread himself like a 
\Baslia with three tails, discoursed fluently upon the 
dignity of his position, and concluded by saying it 
iwas his pleasure to come ; to which I replied, ' It is 
mine not to receive you.' As he went out, he said 
tto the guard in a very loud voice, ' / am the first 
person who has made that woman feel that she is a 
iprisoner, and I will yet reduce her to the condition of 
'the other prisoners.' I thereupon sent for the super- 
intendent, to make my protest against this renewed 
impertinence. In the course of the day he ob- 
tained authority to exclude ' Materia Medica ' from 
'my presence. 

Extracts from notes kept in the Old Capitol : — 

25th. — I have been one week in my new prison. 
My letters now all go through the detective police, 


who subject them to a chemical process to extract 
the treason. In one of the newspaper accounts, 
prepared- under the direction of the secret police, I 
am supposed to use sympathetic ink. I purposely 
left a preparation very conspicuously placed, in order 
to divert attention from my real means of communi- 
cation, and they have swallowed the bait and fancy 
my friends are at their mercy. 

How I shrink from the notoriety which these 
dastards force upon me : for five months I have had 
a daily paragraph. One would think that curiosity 
would have been satiated ; but not so. And I have 
the uneasy consciousness that every word I utter 
will appear with exaggeration in the newspapers. 
Even my child of eight years is deemed of import- 
ance enough to have her childish speeches recorded. 
Well ! I bide my time, confident in the retributive 
justice of Heaven. Eose is subject to the same 
rigorous restrictions as myself. I was fearful at first 
that she would pine, and said, 'My little darling, you 
must show yourself superior to these Yankees, and 
not pine.' She replied quickly, ' mamma, never 
fear ; I hate them too much. I intend to dance and 
sing "Jeff. Davis is coming," just to scare them ! ' 

January 28. — This day, as I raised my barred 
windows, and stood before one of them to get out of 


the smoke and dust, &c. the guard rudely called, 
f Go away from that window ! ' and raised his musket 
and levelled it at rne. I maintained my position 
without condescending to notice him, whereupon he 
sailed for the corporal of the guard. I called also 
Tor the officer of the guard, who informed me that 
I ' must not go to the window.' I quietly told him 
that, at whatever peril, I should avail myself of the 
largest liberty of the four walls of my prison. He 
told me that his guard would have orders to fire 
upon me. I had no idea that such monstrous regu- 
lations existed. To-day the dinner for myself and 
child consists of a bowl of beans swimming in grease, 
two slices of fat junk, and two slices of bread. Still, 
my consolation is, 'Every dog has his day.' 

January 30. — I wonder what will happen next. 
M.j child has been ill for several days, brought on 
by close confinement and want of proper food. Just 
aow I went to the door and rapped, that being the 
prescribed manner of making known my wants. 
The guard came. ' What do you want ?' ' Call the 
corporal of the guard,' I said. ' What do you want 
with him ? ' ' That Is no business of yours ; call 
aim ? ' 'I won't call him.' ' You shall ' (rap, rap, rap). 
The guard — ' G — d d — n you, if you do that again I 
will shoot you through the door.' * Call the corporal 


of the guard ! ' Here horrid imprecations followed; 
I thereupon raised the window and called, ' Corporal 
of the guard.' The ruffian called also, finding that I 
was not to be terrified by his threats. But, when 
the corporal came and opened the door, I was seized n 
with laughter, for there stood the Abolitionist blub- 
bering like a child, that he had ' not orders to shoot 
the d — d Secesh woman, who was not afraid of the 
devil himself.'' b 

I sent for the officer of the guard, who was Lieute-r $ 
nant Carlton, of Zanesville, Ohio, and reported this 
outrage. He said that the guard had acted by his 
orders in refusing to call the corporal of the guard* 
and that he had no idea of allowing his non-com- 
missioned officers to act as servants, &c. I told him 
that my child was ill, and I demanded the use of a 
servant ; whereupon he told me that a servant should 
not be allowed me, save morning and night. I re- 
plied, ' Very well, sir. I will resort to the window, 
then, as my only expedient.' A servant after this 
was sent, but had to perform her functions with a 
sergeant of the guard standing over her. I told 
Lieutenant Carlton that I would report him to the || 
Provost-Marshal, which I accordingly did, and the | 
following is a copy of my letter : — 



' Old Capitol Prtsok : Jan. 81. 

' Sir, — I feel it to be my duty to make a represen- 
tation of certain things clone here under sanction and 
uthority of your name. 

'A few days since I went to my window and 
ieaned against the bars to escape the dust and bad 
>dours with which it was filled, when the guard 
>elow, No. 5, called to me in a rude manner to go 
iway, and threatened to shoot me. This morning 
. again went to my window, to escape the dust 
tad atmosphere of a room without ventilation, the 
vindows of which you well know are barred — as I 
im told that they evidence your mechanical skill — 
md the guard called to me in the same fashion, and 
igain levelled his musket at me. A few moments 
since I was threatened to be fired upon through the 
loor of my chamber, and your officer of the guard 
ustified the outrage, and assumed the responsibility 
)f the act. Sir, I call your attention to these and 
other gross outrages, and warn you that there is 
mother tribunal — that of the public opinion of the 
i'ivilised world — to which I will appeal against your 
icts of inhumanity. And I now formally demand 
hat you cause this officer, Lieutenant Carlton, to be 
mnished for his brutality ; and that you establish 


rules and regulations here, in accordance with the | 
laws of humanity, and rny rights as a prisoner. 
* I have the honour to be, &c. &c. 

1 Eose O'K Greenhow.' 

This brought no response, but I was subsequently !l 
informed that Lieutenant Carlton was temporarily i' c 
placed under arrest, although he was, in the order of 
rotation, again in command at the prison. I can 
give no idea of the petty annoyances to which I was j 
constantly exposed. I was never allowed to cross 
my chamber door. If a servant now entered to 
perform the smallest duty, the door was immediately II 
locked and bolted, so that it was necessary to rap or 
call some five or ten minutes before they could get i] 
out. And when it is remembered that these servants f 
were often negro men, who claimed perfect equality, 
and would tauntingly tell me that ' Massa Lincoln 
had made them as good as me — that they would not 
be called negroes, but gem' men of colour J some idea |j 
may be felt of the vague, undefined feeling of uneasi- 
ness that was constantly upon me. It is but justice 
to the superintendent of the prison, Mr. Wood, to ( 
state that, whenever the insolence of the negroes 
came to his knowledge, that he invariably sent them I 
away; and that, so far as he was able to do so, he i 


protected the prisoners from the insolence and out- 
age of the guard and officers. 

The rules with regard to rny child were barba- 
rously rigid. The act of commitment ran thus : — 
Miss Eose Greenhow, although not a prisoner, is 
-ubject to the same rules and regulations prescribed 
or a prisoner.' She was in fact as much a prisoner 
jus I was. I had never been consulted on the subject. 
fl.nd when occasionally, from very shame, she was 
Jillowed to go down in the yard, the child often came 
sjip crying, from the effects of the brutality and inde- 
cency to which she was exposed. The superin- 
•endeDt was, as I have above said, disposed to be 
dnd, but there was a constant struggle going on 
between him and the military authorities for supre- 
macy, by which the comfort of the prisoner was 
lacrificedj and his liberty abridged. It would seem 
•o have been purposely arranged that these respective 
jealousies, should result in stricter vigilance over the 
.aelpless victims. 

I can conceive no more horrible destiny than that 
vhich was now my lot. At nine o'clock the lights 
vere put out, the roll was called every night and 
norning, and a man peered in to see that a prisoner 
lad not escaped through the keyhole. The walls of 
ay room swarmed with vermin and I was obliged 


to employ a portion of the precious hours of candle- 
light in burning them on the wall, in order that 
myself and child should not be devoured by them in 
the course of the night. The bed was so hard that 
I was obliged to fold up my clothing and place them 
under my child ; in spite of this she would often cry 
out in the night, ' Oh, mamma, the bed hurts me so 

The portion of the prison in which I was con- 
fined was now almost entirely converted into negro 
quarters, hundreds of whom were daily brought in, 
the rooms above and below mine being appropriated 
to their use ; and the tramping and screaming of negro 
children overhead was most dreadful. The prison- 
yard, which circumscribed my view, was filled with 
them, shocking both sight and smell — for the air was 
rank and pestiferous with the exhalations from their 
bodies ; and the language which fell upon the ear, 
and sights which met the eye, were too revolting to 
be depicted — for it must be remembered that these 
creatures were of both sexes, huddled together in- 
discriminately, as close as they could be packed. 
Emancipated from all control, and suddenly endowed 
with constitutional rights, they considered the exer- 
cise of their unbridled will as the only means of 
manifesting their equality. 


• In addition to all other sufferings was the terrible 
Jlread of infectious diseases, several cases of small-pox 
toccurring, and my child had already taken the camp- 
tmeasles, which had broken out amongst them. My 
clothes, when brought out from the wash, were often 
filled with vermin ; constantly articles were stolen. 
(Complaint on this head, of course, was unheeded. 
Our free fellow-citizens of colour felt themselves 
■entitled to whatever they liked. Several times 
Jduring this period my child was reduced to a bare 
change of garments ; and the supreme contempt 
with which they regarded a rebel was, of course, 
very edifying to the Yankees, who rubbed their 
-hands in glee at the signs of the ' irrepressible con- 
micV One day I called for a servant from the 
^window. A negro man, basking in the sun below, 
x called out — ' Is any of you ladies named Laura? dai 
-woman up dare wants you.'' And, by way of still 
-further increasing the satisfaction with this condition 
jof things, Captain Gilbert, of the 91st Pennsylvania 
-^Volunteers, drilled these negroes just below my 
] window. 

I protested against these infamies, and threatened 
to make an appeal to the United States Senate to 
send a committee to enquire into our present hapless 
condition, as they had done in the case of the negro 


thieves and felons confined in the gaol, many of 
whom had been released by habeas corpus^ and 
whose cases had been deemed worthy of a senatorial 
report. This threat procured the instant removal of 
the negroes to more comfortable quarters. 






Che Congressional Committee of Investigation, in- 
stituted on account of Mr. Secretary Cameron's 
eccentric financial dalliances, was still labouring 
imidst the turbid pools of corruption, whose depth 
hey were trying to fathom. Its researches had 
laken a far more extended range than was originally 
ntencled. The newspapers, in conjunction with 
Dame Eumour, sometimes lifted the screen, and gave 
he public a peep at the nature of the examinations 
vdth which the committee had charged themselves, 
nd they were certainly of a very extraordinary 



character — the most remarkable being the charges 
against Mrs. Lincoln of corruption, &c. Mrs. Lincoln 
was said to have purchased from a New York hard- 
ware establishment a dinner service of china for the 
White House, to be paid for by the Government, for 
which the dealer presented a bill to Mr. Lincoln for 
the sum of 2,500 dollars ; that he refused to pay the 
exorbitant price, and sent for a hardware dealer of 
Washington to consult as to the real value, who 
estimated it at about 800 dollars ; that the New 
York dealer still insisted on his original demand, 
telling Mr. Lincoln significantly that he had better 
pay it without further question ; that Lincoln insist- 
ing to know what he meant, the dealer finally gave 
the history of the transaction, as follows : that the 
real price of the china had been 800 dollars, but 
Mrs. Lincoln had directed him to make out the bill 
for 2,500, and hand over the surplus to her. 

The nature of some of these charges can be bettei 
understood by the formal defence which the ' New 
York Herald ' thought fit to make of her charactei 
and domestic virtues. It deprecated the attempt o 
the committee to interfere with the harmoniow 
domestic relations of President Lincoln and his wife- 
said that 'she should be, like Caesar's w r ife, above 
suspicion,' &c. This was very noble and praise 


i -worthy on the part of the ' Herald ; ' but the com- 
t mittee were dealing with things as they were, and 
- not as they ought to be, although they afterwards 
: came to the conclusion that it was incompatible with 
! the good of public morals that their researches 
should be published. It will, however, at some 
future day form a curious appendage to the history 
ti of the times, in the hands of some chronicler of the 
] rise and fall of the Model Republic, which has been 
i more recently characterised as ' the best Govern- 
,\ merit the sun ever shone upon.' 

The movements of M'Clellan were now hurried, 

and he was forced to assume the defensive in the 

j manner and place indicated by others. The second 

) advance on Manassas was in accordance with this 

1 plan, and the result proved even more disastrous to 

the Abolition army than the first. They could no 

longer delude themselves as to the superiority of the 

k fighting qualities of the enemy they had to contend 

w with : it had been demonstrated at Manassas, and 

k equally fatally at Ball's Bluff — where the fanatical 

demagogue Baker met his just doom. And they 

k were now to learn that this hated Southern chivalry, 

whom they reported at Manassas to have laid ' down' 

behind their trenches, too enervated to load their own 

guns, which teas done by their negroes for them, 

Q 2 


exceeded them quite as much in hardy endurance as 
in strategy and skill — all qualities essential to success ; 
and in this instance, as if to show their contempt for 
the foe who had required almost eight months to 
recover from the last shock of arms, added insult toj 
injury by holding them in check with wooden guns ;, 
actually introducing with success the Chinese system 
of warfare against these puritan propagandists of the 
nineteenth century. 

It was at this time that I replied to the boast 
made by some Yankee officers of the ' total anni 
hilation of our army' — ' We will not fight you at 
Manassas, bat will lead you on to the Chickahominy 
where we will welcome you " to hospitable graves!" 

After the actual occurrence, this chance prophecy 
was published in the ' New York Herald,' and other 
papers, as an evidence of my uninterrupted commu- 
nication 'with the army at Manassas.' And the. 
Prince de Joinville, in his apologetic letter for 
M'Clellan's defeat, says, ' He was forced to reveal^ 
his plans in Cabinet, and a female spy immediately 
sent information of them across to Beauregard, whose 
strategic movement was consequent upon if 

M'Clellan did me the honour to say that I knew 
his plans better than President Lincoln or his Cabinet 
and had caused him four times to change them — 


' this was a matter of public notoriety amongst the 
: Yankees, and fully believed. But he gave me credit 
sometimes for more information than I possessed. 
I was, of course, a close observer of the smallest 
indications, and often drew accurate conclusions 
-without having any precise knowledge on the sub- 
ject. I was in Washington, as the Indian savage in 
5 the trackless forest, with an enemy behind every 
oiish. My perceptive faculties were under a painful 
tension, and every instinct was quickened to follow 
r T Jie doublings and windings of the ruthless foe who 
^as hunting my race unto death ; and, of course, no 
flrord or indication was lost upon me. 

I was very often at this period intruded upon by 
arge parties of curious Yankees, who came with 
)asses from the Provost-Marshal, or Governor of the 
listrict, to stare at me. Sometimes I was amused, 
md generally contrived to find out from these par- 
ies what was going on. One set of men came, 
atroducing themselves as friends of Mrs. Timothy 
child's — as if this would furnish a passport to a 
outhern woman's confidence. This party affected to 
e literary, one of whom was editor of a Eochester 
Wnal : informed me that I was detained on account 
f my talents ' as a writer,' and classed me with 
Idme. de Sevigne. Another large party came a 


few days after this : the women, very smartly 
dressed, helped themselves very unceremoniously to 
cake which had been just sent to my little one. A 
woman of this party, who claimed Boston as her 
residence, made quite a furious onslaught upon me, 
and said to me, ' Confess that it was love of notoriety 
which caused you to adopt your course, and you 
have been certainly gratified, for there is no one 
whom everybody has such a curiosity to see' — be- 
came very much excited, and said a great deal more. 
I told her that I had not supposed her object in 
visiting my prison was for the purpose of making a 
personal attack upon me, but that she did not sur- 
prise me. And afterwards I requested the superin- 
tendent not to allow any more of these parties to 
have access to me ; for the fish women of Paris in the 
French Eevolution were before my mind, and I 
feared that the next party might come armed with 
sticks or knives. The superintendent told me that 
numbers daily came to the prison who would gladh 
give him ten dollars a-piece to be allowed to pass nry 
open door, so as to obtain a view of the 'indomi- 
table rebel,' as I was sometimes called in their papers 
This was being ' damned to immortality.' 

The disappointment of the Abolitionists at Ma 
nassas by no means diminished the zeal of the ' On t< 


Richmond party,' although it must always be borne 
, in mind that the most bloodthirsty and desperate of 
I these mercenary patriots were, from the nature of 
j their positions, never likely to encounter the foe 
. whom they affected to despise. In the first battle of 
Manassas it was terrible to read the accounts of 
the masked batteries, and torpedoes, and infernal 
c machines, described as buried by the rebels, who 
were held up to the execration of the civilised world 
for resorting to such unfair practices against a trust- 
ing foe, who disdained the use of any but the most 
r orthodox means of destruction. Poor rebels, how 
bitterly they were denounced ! Unblushingly now 
I these same liberators avowed to the world that they 
had drawn on their imaginations — in plain English, 
had lied most egregiously : that instead of ' the country, 
for the space of twenty miles, being enfiladed with 
[mashed batteries, rifle-pits, tyc' — as they have since 
— only a few earthen defences, of but little strength, 
\ surmounted by wooden guns, were found ; and by 
consequence forced to admit that the formidable 
defences and breastworks against which their mighty 
/army had recoiled and fled like stricken hounds, had 
been formed of a small band of ' enervated Southern- 
ers,' whom they represented as an easy prey. And 
so they had been for long years, and the North 


had grown rich and intolerant upon its monopoly 
of their material wealth ; but now they were banded 
together in the cause of their rights, and spirited on 
by the Lord of Hosts to victory. 

Shrewd calculations were now entered into as to 
the time when this ' invincible grand army ' (foi 
they still adhered to the name), would make its tri- 
umphant entry into Richmond. Extracts were con- 
stantly published from the ' Richmond Examiner,' to 
prove the utter want of confidence of the populace 
in our President, representing him as ruling with 
despotic power, exposing every salieut point — our 
exhausted resources and want of munitions of war, 
and other things which patriotism should have 
shrouded in silence, had it all been true. 

The 'Examiner' was also reported several times 
to have been suppressed by order of President 
Davis, on account, as they said, ' of its fearless ex- 
posure of his tyrannical government,' and our help 
less condition was bemoaned by the victims of a 
despotism more absolute than that which they in 
imagination inflicted upon the Confederacy. 

So convinced was I of the injury which the 
' Examiner ' caused by exaggerating our internal 
differences and exposing our difficulties, that on 
arriving at Richmond I seriously asked the President 


"why, in view of the mischievous effects of this paper 
l:in giving aid and comfort to the enemy, it had not 
iibeen suppressed ; for that during the period of my 
imprisonment, I had had ample opportunity to know 
ipe important information which they derived through 
iits columns. The reply of the President was befit- 
■ ting the head of a great nation — ' Better suffer from 
■that evil which is temporary, than arrest it by a still 
\[gr eater one. It is a dangerous thing to interfere with 
jhe liberty of the press, for what would it avail us if 
[iwe gain our independence and lose our liberty V 
i Letters were also passed about purporting to come 
.from the ladies of our high officers and officials, re- 
gretting the erroneous judgments of their ' bosom 
lords,' and all sighing after the flesh-pots of Egypt ; 
>and Mr. John Minor Botts quoted openly, as autho- 
rity for our demoralised condition, and readiness to 
be taken into favour, if the conquering army could 
once get to Eichmond. But there was the rub. The 
iroad to Eichmond was studied on the maps, and it 
d seemed very easy. I had the one used by the Mili- 
tary Committee of the Senate, with the red dotted 
alines which they made of the route ; and thinking 
'it might serve as a lesson to the Confederate engi- 
neers, sent it to Manassas — (I have often wondered 
if that might not be the identical map supposed to 


have been furnished by General Scott's coachman). 
To their judgment, the ' On to Richmond' was 
un fait accompli ; and our noble President already 
dragged at the wheels of the ' coach with purple 
hangings,' to grace the triumph of the immortal rail 
splitter. This programme was only delayed. Who 
could doubt its fulfillment? Mr. Secretary Chase 
borrowed money upon it. The bulls and bears of 
Wall Street kept the ball constantly in motion. 
Richmond was the Palestine of these modern Cru- 
saders, and the freedom of the negro their sepulchre 
of Christ. 

M'Clellan, by order of the ' Great Secretary ,' now 
made the third move in the programme of ' On to 
Richmond,' by way of Yorktown. This was against 
his judgment ; but he, however, showed himself pos- 
sessed of the first requisite of a soldier — obedience 
to his superior. He had an effective force of 150,000 
men, weU appointed and disciplined — somewhat, it 
is true, relaxed by the mistake at Manassas — and 
eager, if we could judge from the boastful bragging 
tone, for the onslaught. The only opposing army 
at this time on the peninsula was the small but gal- 
lant band, under Magruder, of eight or ten thousand 
men, which he managed with such skill, by marching 
and countermarching, as to give the idea of fifty or 


. sixty thousand : this estimate was constantly made 
by the Yankees. With this insignificant force he 
r ; held M'Clellan's whole army in check for two 
months. Upon the principle that one Confederate 
was equal to five Yankees, I aided in the mystifica- 
i tion by inadvertently supposing our force on the 
peninsula to be not less than 200,000 strong. 
H M'Clellan was evidently under the impression that 
a formidable force confronted him, and set to work 
- to entrench himself, at a cost of $3,000,000 ; and 
demanded that reinforcements, to the amount of 
50,000 men, should be sent him from Washington, 
v Stanton haughtily replied to this requisition, in the 
i name of poor Lincoln, by enumerating the force 
1 under his command, and ordered him to fight the 
battle with the army he already had ; and plainly 
\ insinuated that, if he asked for any more men, they 
would send him instead 'a commanding officer.' 
i M'Clellan maintained the impossibility of his com- 
J mencing offensive operations, unless reinforced. A 
S correspondence between him and the Great Secretary 
' ensued, which created an active partisan warfare. 
-. M'Clellan's friends warmly espoused his cause, and 
I asserted boldly that it was Stanton's design to sacri- 
fice him. 

Under this pressure of public feeling, which was 


aided by the 'New York Herald,' reinforcements 
were sent to M'Clellan; but the order was tardily 
given and tardily executed. It was determined, 
although there were over 75,000 men behind the 
fortifications of Washington, that none of these could 
be spared, as the gaieties of the Capitol might be 
suddenly interrupted by a foray of the ' rebel despe- 
radoes.' How my blood tingled with satisfaction at 
the estimate they put upon the daring feats of our 
men. The gallant Ashby and his black horse cavalry 
were viewed with as much terror as the wild hunts- 
man of the Black Forest. 

Thirty thousand men were at last grudgingly 
ordered to reinforce M'Clellan — 10,000 taken from 
each of the commands of Banks, M'Dowell, and 
Shields. Banks accounted for his subsequent defeat 
by Stonewall Jackson, from having had his command 
weakened by this reduction, and the movement of 
his remaining forces impeded by the wagons, &c. 
consequent upon the transfer of so large a body of 

Meanwhile these stern alarums did not interrupt 
the merrymaking at the National Capitol ; perhaps, 
at no period of its history had there been such unre- 
strained indulgence of revelry and mirth. The court 
journals gave a daily account of balls, and dinners, 


and routs, and exultingly proclaimed the fact that 
the Abolition ladies could ' dress and dance,' and 
• give suppers,' ' brilliant suppers,' in spite of the 
withdrawal of those 'Secesh dames and demoiselles — 
the Greenhows, Slidells, and Clays ' — and ' the foreign 
Ministers who were wont to sympathise with these 
fair traitors.' 

These gay doings ought to have been proof con- 
clusive that there was 'nobody hurt,' even though 
the city authorities of New York and Philadelphia 
ifound their resources strained to the utmost to give 
bread to the thousands of destitute and star vino; 
families in their midst, and their hospitals were 
crowded to overflowing with wounded and dying 

The fashionable world of Abolitiondom was now 
put in a state of great excitement on account of the 
grand ball which Mrs. Lincoln had resolved to give 
at the White House, on February 9th. The invita- 
tions had been issued a month in advance, and the 
interest of the public kept alive by descriptions of 
the preparations as they progressed. It was got 
up truly upon a scale of royal magnificence. Maiard 
was brought on from New York to superintend 
the supper and its adornments ; and the Chevalier 
VVikofF was grand master of ceremonies. And, in 


order that nothing connected with the august enter- 
tainment which could enhance the general interest 
should be lost, the 'New York Herald' published' 
the card of invitation sent to ' Mr. and Mrs. James 
Gordon Bennett,' which they, however, had the good 
taste to decline, dreading, I suppose, the ' irrepres- 
sible conflict.' The description of the ball in it:i 
various phases, and the beautiful toilettes, fillet 
many columns of the papers for days after, to thd 
exclusion of the exciting news from the seat of wan 
Mrs. Lincoln's costume received a large share o> 
attention. She was described as being dressed ii 
Court mourning — that is, with white and black, ros<> 
and white, and black lace intertwined and com 
mingled, ' as a delicate compliment to Queen Victori? 
upon the death of Prince Albert.' Her own son! 
during this heartless pageant, was lying at the poini 
of death, and a few days after breathed his last 
upon which occasion, however, she put on no mourn 
ing. Neither did she for the brother who fell after 
wards, fighting in defence of his home and fireside. 
These festivities at the National Capitol were m 
tended to divert the public mind from too close 
scrutiny of the policy of the Government. Th 
superficial observer supposed that all the energy c 
their rulers was directed to the reduction of Kiel" 


rnond. M'Clellan was unsophisticated enough to 
suppose that lie had been sent to the peninsula for 
the accomplishment of that end, and he addressed 
himself to the task with great caution and not much 
relish for it. He would greatly have preferred to 
?remain in Washington during its season of festivities, 
•enjoying the eclat and hero-worship of the hour, 
i He, however, proceeded to take the necessary 
^measures for the advance of his army. He had the 
good sense never to have underrated the enemy he 
had to encounter ; on the contrary, he magnified 
tour force and capabilities beyond what our modesty 
would have allowed us to claim on our own behalf. 

M'Clellan rightly judged that the only chance of 
isuccess was to overwhelm us by numbers. Hence 
his requisition on the War Department at Washing- 
ton for reinforcements, which, when conceded, under 
iforce of the outside pressure, were several weeks 
before reaching him ; thus forcing him, whilst wait- 
ing for them, to extend and strengthen his original 
J. line of intrenchments and fortifications, to protect his 
iliirmy from the attack momentarily expected to be 
inade by General Johnson, who had been by this 
I [delay enabled to relieve Magruder and his gallant 
noand from the critical position they were in, for 
•liliiere is no doubt that had M'Clellan advanced upon 


them they must have been cut to pieces. The) 
represented themselves as being somewhat in tin 
condition of' Admiral Hosier's army,' mere shadows 
from the severe marching and flying about to whicl 
they were subjected by Magruder, in order to de 
ceive the enemy. 

During this period of digging and trenching o 
the Grand Army, the ' Great Secretary ' issued one o 
those remarkable bulletins proclaiming a great batth 
and a great victory at Yorktown, and, as was usual 
a map and description of the seat of war appeared ii, 
all the Yankee papers. 

I confess to some uneasy feeling on the subjeci 
until a friend in the War Department sent me i 
copy of the genuine despatch from M'Clellan 
' imploring reinforcements.' Mr. Stanton's was j 
financiering ruse, and proved very successful — fo 
Mr. Chase was enabled thereby to effect anothel 
considerable loan. 

I wrote a letter describing this same operatioi: 
which was mailed in Baltimore, and captured in thl 
Post-office of that city, and was afterwards showi 
me by General Dix at the time of my mock tria 
before him for treason. 

The Government at Washington never intendei 
that M'Clellan should advance beyond Yorktown 


jhe had played the role designed for him, and they 
were now determined to rid themselves of him, even 
Ithough they should also sacrifice the army under 
■ his command. In preparation for this defeat, the 
'transports were kept in a convenient position, and 
the gun-boats lay ready to cover the retreat of his 

I 1 The evacuation of Yorktown by Johnson was 
^conducted in a masterly manner : the enemy were 
fin complete ignorance of his design until it had been 
lentirely accomplished — held in check again by a few 
wooden guns. General Johnson, however, had the 
j-magnanimity to leave for their enlightenment an 
1 intelligent contraband, well posted as to his future 
|(movements and the policy and views generally of the 
Confederate Government. 

At this time a very important character arrived at 
[the metropolis, in the person of President Davis's 
negro coachman. I was not informed whether Pre- 
sident Lincoln and his premier, Mr. Seward, invited 
i him to dinner, but I do know that he had frequent 
'interviews with them, the result of which was given 
;o the curious public through the press, as conversa- 
ions between the President and Mrs. Davis during 
'heir evening drives. He also said that Eichmond 
iifvould be evacuated on the first sign of the approach 



of the Abolition army, and that President Davis had 
had a subterranean passage made, so as to secure his 
own escape. These ridiculous stories were greedily 
swallowed, and implicit credit given to them ; in 
truth, there was nothing too wild or extravagant for 
these Northern fanatics to seize hold of — and the 
Government offered a premium for this species of 
romance, as a sort of safety-valve for their own 
ulterior policy. 





I became now seriously alarmed about the health 
and life of my child. Day by day I saw her fading 
away — her round chubby face, radiant with health, 
had become pale as marble, the pupils of her eyes 
were unnaturally dilated, and finally a slow nervous 
fever seized upon her. I implored in vain, both 
verbally and in writing, that a physician might be 
sent, and finally wrote the following letter to the 
Provost-Marshal : — 

' Old Capitol Prison : 
' Tuesday, February 18, 1862. 

' I wrote yesterday to ask that Dr. M'Millen might 
be allowed to visit my child, who is suffering from 

B 2 


illness brought on by a system of severity and 
rigorous confinement, which, as regards children, has 
no precedent in a civilised age or civilised land, 
unless we seek a parallel in the confinement of the 
children in the Temple, in the beginning of the 
French Revolution. 

' I ask, Sir, that my request may be complied 
with, with as little delay as possible, unless it be the 
intention of your Government to murder my child. 
' I have the honour to be, &c. &c, 

' Eose O'K Gkeenhow.' 

A few hours after I had despatched this note, my 
door was rudely thrown open, and Dr. Stewart, the 
' Brigand Sergeant,' as he signed himself, unceremoni- 
ously entered, saying, ' Madam, I come to see you 
on official business.' I said, ' Sir, it ought to be of 
a very grave character to warrant this intrusion.' He 
seated himself, his hospital steward standing near 
the door. ' Madam, did you write a letter to the 
Provost-Marshal this day ? ' ' Yes, I wrote to the 
Provost-Marshal ; but I have yet to learn how you, 
a subordinate, dare question me hi regard to any 
correspondence I may hold with your superior.' 
' Madam, I have every right : you have caused me 
to be rebuked by Major Allen and General Porter, 


I for neglect of duty,' &c. I said, ' Sir, in my letter 
to General Porter there was not the most distant 
reference to you ; I asked that Dr. M'Millen might 
j visit my child, knowing him to be a man of science 
' and a gentleman, and my note furnished no warrant 
for General Porter to rebuke you. As to Major 
Allen, his impertinence is only equalled by your own 
at this moment.' He replied, ' Madam, I will believe 
General Porter in preference to you.' I thereupon 
arose from my seat, and said, ' Sir, I have borne 
with you quite as long as is consistent with my self- 
respect, and I now desire you to quit my room, as it 
is no part of my plan to submit to personal insult.' 
He arose also, foaming with rage, and stood con- 
fronting me — almost a giant in size — and said, ' I 
will not quit your room ; I am here by order of 
Brigadier-General Porter.' ' Sir, I command you to 
go out ; if you do not, I will summon the officer of the 
guard and the superintendent to put you out.' With 
that he attempted to lay hands upon my child. I 
interposed my own person and said, ' At your peril 
but touch my child. You are a coward and no 
gentleman, thus to insult a woman.' ' I will not go 
out of your room, madam,' he said, this time livid and 
trembling with rage or fear, I do n't know which. 
I then went to the door and rapped — for be it 


remembered that he was locked and bolted in my 
room, that being the humane and Christian order. 
' Call the officer of the guard.' The sentinel on duty 
being a friendly one, no time was lost in summoning 
him. When the officer appeared and the door was 
opened, it happened to be that same Lieutenant 
Carlton, from Zanesville, Ohio. He was very much. 
agitated, for this man was his superior officer. I said. 
' Sir, I order you to put this man out of my room, 
for conduct unworthy of an officer and a gentleman, 
and I will report } t ou for having allowed him to enter 
here.' He nervously rubbed his hands, and said, ' 1 
am sure Dr. Stewart will come out if you wish it/ 
' Sir,' I said, ' do your duty ; order your guard to 
put him out.' The sergeant, corporal, and guard- 
who all hated Stewart for his arrogance — were 
eager to obey. Whereupon this valiant Dr. Stewart 
actually slunk out. Strange to say, this scene filled 
me with uncontrollable laughter. It was farcical 
in the extreme — this display of valour against a 
sick child and careworn woman prisoner. A few- 
hours later the kind and good Dr. M'Millen came 
in, accompanied by an officer, but under orders 
not to hold any conversation with me save that 
which was professional. 

I felt it incumbent upon me to report Dr. Stewart's 


i visit to the Provost-Marshal. The following is a 
■ copy : — 


' Old Capitol Prison : 
' Tuesday, February 20, 18G2. 

'Sir, — I am constrained, in consequence of the 
! insolence and ungentlemanly conduct of Dr. Stewart, 
to make my complaint to you, and to ask your pro- 
tection against his visits for the future. 

'I wrote a note to you some days since, asking 
that Dr. M'Millen might be allowed to visit my child, 
[.who has been, and is, very ill. This Dr. Stewart 
, came to my room yesterday morning, and obtruded 
himself therein, together with his hospital steward, 
and rudely called me to account for having written 
to you ; said that I had caused him to be repri- 
manded by you and the detective called Major Allen, 
■for neglect of duty, &c. I told him that, in my note 
to you, I had made no allusion to him ; that I had 
\ requested the attendance of Dr. M'Millen, because I 
y knew him to be a gentleman, and I had confidence 
cj in his professional skill ; and, moreover, that my 
>i note furnished you with no warrant for a rebuke to 
tj him, and that, if so, you had drawn a false con- 
clusion, as you well knew that I had always declined 
i his (Stewart's) professional visits. With that he told 


me that he would believe you in preference to me, 
&c. &c. I thereupon desired him to leave my room, 
as I did not choose to submit to his impertinence. 
He refused in a rude and violent manner ; said he 
was here by your order, and even had the audacity 
to approach my child to lay hands on her, which I 
prevented, and repeated my order that he should 
quit my room ; and, finally, was obliged to send 
down for the officer of the guard and superintendent, 
before I could be freed from his insolent intrusion. 

' It would occupy more time than I am disposed 
to engross to give you a detailed account of this 
man's offensive conduct, which commenced with the 
first days of my imprisonment, for a corroboration of 
which I refer you to Lieutenant Sheldon. 

' He claims your authority for his insolence, and I 
therefore respectfully demand that you will give such 
orders as that I may not be again exposed to it. 
' I have the honour to be, &c. &c., 

' Eose O'JST. Greexhow.' 

General Johnson's wise and judicious falling back 
from Yorktown completely upset the plans and pur- 
poses of the Abolition Directory at Washington, and 
forced upon them an entire change of policy to suit 
the new emergency. Their determination with re- 


,gard to M'Clellan was necessarily suspended, although 
not weakened in the slightest degree. But their own 
political existence depended upon the employment or 
^'defeat of the vast army under M'Clellan, which was 
mow 180,000 strong. To recall him at that juncture 
was to have him proclaimed Military Dictator. To 
avoid this danger, a vigorous prosecution of the 
' On to Richmond ' was imperative. 

Homesteads in the South were offered to that 
horde of barbarians, who swarmed like locusts over 
line fairest fields of Virginia, desolating them as they 
advanced, and spurred on with the hope of posses- 
sion, and visions of orange groves and fair Southern 
Wives. This is no imaginary picture. Wilson, of 
Massachusetts, said, few of that army, ' our boys,' as 
die called them, will ever return to the North ; that 
'they would have homesteads given them in the 
conquered country ; that Congress would apportion 
the land into quarter sections ; that they would 
settle and marry Southern girls. To which I re- 
plied, ' Never, sir. But our negroes will go North 
land marry yours, as far more fitting helpmates.' 

Wilson, in this instance, proved a true prophet ; 
-but not in the sense he intended. Few of that Van- 
Mai crew ever returned to the North ; but instead of 
;■ homes in the sunny south, under the vine and the 


fig-tree, they found bloody graves amid the swamps 
of the Chicahominy, where their bodies lie unas- 
soilziecl, unburied, their bones bleaching in the sun, 
and a nation's anathema as their funeral dirge. 

General Andrew Porter, the Provost-Marshal, who 
had distinguished himself by the most wanton inva- 
sion of the rights of the people of the district, ac- 
companied M'Clellan to the field, followed by his 
bloodhounds, Allen and his gang of detectives. 
Porter was succeeded by a Mr. Biddle Pioberts, who 
signed himself with as many titles as a Spanish 
grandee, and determined to convince me in the out- 
set that I had gained nothing by the exchange. 

Stanton had the grace to give an order that 
members of my family should visit me, without the 
restrictions which had been hitherto imposed. This, 
however, displeased the Provost-Marshal and detec- 
tive police, who determined to deprive me of the 
power of making known this concession, and took 
upon themselves still to refuse all passes* to see me. 
The following is a copy of a letter which I wrote to 
Mrs. S. A. Douglas, which was returned to me : — 

'Old Capitol Prison : March 3, 1862. 

' My dear Adie, — The superintendent, Mr. Wood, 
informed me some days since that the Secretary of 
War, Mr. Stanton, had ordered that Mrs. Douglas, Mr. 


and Mrs. Cutts, Mrs. Leonard, or any other member 
of my family, should have leave to visit me without a 
pass, or the accompaniment or presence of an officer, 
or anyone else, during the interview, which was to be 

t unlimited ; and I give you the words of the order, as 

. well as I can remember, made by the superintendent 
in presence of the officer of the guard, and the same 

g has been entered amongst the orders of the prison. 

' Eose has been very ill, brought on by the un- 
heard-of cruelty of her incarceration. Just imagine 
a little child of eight years shut up for months, the 
only breath of air inhaled through the bars of a 
prison window. However, since two days we are 
actually allowed a half-hour's exercise in the prison- 

<yard, where we walk up and down, picking our way 
as best we can through mud and negroes, followed 
by soldiers and corporals with bayonet in hand, 

c ready to cry "halt! " if we turn to the right or the left. 
' This is becoming a very tragical farce to me ; 
i and if I were not writing to so loyal a supporter 
of the Imperial Powers, I should say, May Heaven 
confound them ! As it is, T shall only add, Good- 
bye, with my love. 

' Yours affectionately, 

'Eose O'K Gkeenhow. 

' Detective Police, for Mrs. S. A. Douglas.' 


This letter was detained by Captain Dennis of the 
detective police, who had now charge of the exami- 
nation of my letters, by order of Porter — Captain 
M'Millen having fallen under his suspicion. The de- 
tective Captain Dennis pronounced Stanton a d 

fool for having given the order, and said th&imry 
letter should not go. I directed Mr. Wood to demand 
the return of the letter, intending to enclose it to 
Stanton. The following is a copy of a communica- 
tion from Wood : — 

' Head-quarters, City Police, Office of the Provost-Marshax. 

' Washington : April 5, 1802. 

' I called this day at the Provost-Marshal's Office 
for Mrs. E. O'JST. Greenhow's letter, addressed to Mrs. 
S. A. Douglas ; having left the said letter two days 
since for examination. I find the letter still in the 
office, and am unable to obtain it. 

'William P. Wood, 
' Superintendent of Old Capitol Prison. 

' I know the above to be true, 

<G. E. Shiel, 
' Clerk at Provost-Marshal's Office.' 

Upon the receipt of this communication, I wrote 1 
to Stanton in the following terms: — 



< Sir, — The superintendent of this prison informed 

ne some days since of your considerate and humane 

Wder — which I appreciate the more highly as being 

ntirely gratuitous on your part — permitting mem- 

>ers of my family to visit me without restriction. 

' I wrote a letter a few days since to a member of 
ay family, communicating this information ; and it 
s with great surprise that I learn that the letter has 
>een detained by your detective police, or Provost- 
larshal. I did not suppose, Sir, that even their 
udacity could reach this point — to hold back or 
uppress a letter, simply because it annunciated an 
rder from the Secretary of War which did not meet 
nth their approbation. I refrain from further coin- 
lent, believing that you will properly rebuke the 
npertinence of your subordinates. 

' I have the honour to be, &c. &c., 

'Eose O'N. Greenhow.' 

This communication I purposely sent open through 
re Provost-Marshal's Office. A few hours after, I 
sceived the following : — 



' Head-qjtaetees, City Police, &c. : March 5. 

'MPtS. E. O'N. Greenhow, — I herewith return 
enclosed your letter to Mrs. S. A. Douglas, of" '3rd 
instant. It contains improper matter, and is impro- 
perly directed. 

' Very respectfully, 

6 S. BlDDLE BiOBERTS, &C. &C.' 

About the beginning of February, a woman named 
Ada Hewit, daughter of a mechanic of Alexandria, 
calling herself Mrs. Morris Mason, was brought to 
the prison. She had, however, never been married, 
although the mother of two children, one of whom 1 
died a few days prior to her arrest. The immediate 
cause which led to her arrest was a letter written 1 
by her to Seward, claiming his protection from the 
attentions of Colonel Marcy (the father-in-law of 
M'Clellan), with whom she assumed to have estab- 
lished previously very amicable relations. Seward, 
after consultation with M'Clellan, had her incarce- 
rated, in order to avoid & family scandal. 

Mrs. William Henry Norris, of Baltimore, was also : 
confined at the Old Capitol as a prisoner. She was 
a most excellent lady ; was detained about two' 
weeks, and was released upon parole through the 
influence of the Hon. Eeverdy Johnson. The new 


•egulations allowing half an hour in the prison yard 
lad only gone into operation a few days before 
tos. Norris left, so that it was but a brief pleasure 
hat I enjoyed in her society. 


On March 6th, General Wordsworth called to see 
ne in his character of Governor of the District, the 
irst appointment of the kind made by Abraham the 
7 irst. Consequently, the Provost-Marshal became 
imply chief of police, without other authority. A 
ubordinate officer, Major Doster, was appointed to 
he place. 

General Wordsworth was gentlemanly and kind, 
.nd seemingly recognised the right of a prisoner to 
' >e treated with humanity and respect. He appeared 
,;reatly surprised to hear of the system pursued 
owards myself and child, and ordered that I should 
njoy, as a right, the usual exercise allotted to other 
irisoners ; also, that my child should have the 
•rivilege of going outside the walls, accompanied by 
tfi officer. But it was one thins; to make humane 
aws, and another to have them executed. The love 
r Vf tyranny had become too strong a passion within 
hose walls to be easily abolished ; any appeal re- 
uired two or three days to reach the proper quarter ; 
ach subordinate officer took upon himself to inter- 
pret the rules ; and corporals and sergeants assumed 


the airs of their chiefs, and had to be daily instructed; 
for, alas ! we were only rebels, and inhaled the air 
by sufferance. The vexations and annoyances on 
this head were unceasing. The most brutal of the 
officers with whom I was brought in contact was 
Captain Gilbert, of the 91st Pennsylvania Volunteers 
(the same who had drilled the negroes), and Lieute- 
nant Carlton, of Zanesville, Ohio. The most humane 
and kind were Captain Higgins and Lieutenant Miller. 
of New Jersey. These gentlemen merit the consi- 
deration of every prisoner for the reluctance with 
which they obeyed the harsh orders of their supe- 
riors ; and, if the chances of war ever throw them in 
our midst, I should deem it a privilege, by every 
means in my power, to ameliorate their condition. 
One day, on going down in the yard, the market- 
cart of the superintendent had just come in. My 
friend Charlie, who drove it, said, ' Will you take a, 
ride ? ' I immediately got in — the other female pri- 
soners following my example — exclaiming, ' I am ofli 
for Dixie ! ' and Charlie drove rapidly around the 
yard. It is impossible to describe the panic and 
confusion which ensued. All the prisoners rushed 
to the windows to enjoy the scene. The officer of 
the guard, Captain Gilbert, also rushed out, crying 
with might and main, ' Stop that wehickle ! ' The 


■ guard were doubled all around the yard, and, I 
i believe, were actually preparing to fire upon us. 
After driving around the enclosure two or three 
times, we drew up in front of our redoubtable cap- 
tain, who verily believed that an escape had been 
'meditated, and that his timely intervention had alone 
frustrated it. 

March 10. — The greatest dismay and anxiety was 
felt at Washington on account of the extraordinary 
prowess of the Merrimac, or the Virginia, as she had 
ibeen newly christened. The War Department for- 
bade the publication of her glorious achievements : 
tone entire edition of a Baltimore paper was sup- 
pressed, from having contained a graphic account of 
■'the engagement. In spite of these vigilant efforts it 
became widely spread ; and Mr. Seward even awoke 
7to the conviction that there was ' something the 
'matter,' and recommended to the Governors of the 
• lorth-eastern States the subject of their coast de- 
fences. The Chamber of Commerce of New York 
lastily convened to take into consideration the har- 
bour defences of that city. Each night the Abolition 
iijrovernment at Washington retired with the dread 
mticipation of seeing in the morning ' the Norfolk 
Turtle ' lying off the Potomac, ready to shell the 
iWhite House. The Abolitionists hastily sent off their 


families, and a special train waited several days, with 
steam up, ready to bear off Lincoln and his Cabinet. 
Quite an excitement was created throughout the 
prison, about this time, by the arrest of a woman in 
~^ male attire. She was apprehended at the hotel oi? 
y . a man named Donnelly, in Washington, who, un- 
jy3i fortunately for her, died a few days prior to her' 
c/ arrival. Her object had been to go to Eichmond 
with the proffer of a projectile which her husband, 
who was in England, had invented, the model of 
which she had in her trunk. Donnelly was to have* 
forwarded her over. She was very handsome, and 
was a woman of some cultivation and scientific 
attainments. She was a keen observer, and both 
spoke and wrote well. Her room was adjoining 
mine; and, although there was a double dooi 1 
between, I was enabled to converse and pass com 
munications through the keyhole. This had beei 
arranged by a skilful use of the penknife by th< 
gentlemen who had been removed for this prisonei 
in order that we might in turn avail ourselves o 
each other's facilities in sending communications on 
of the prison. 

Mrs. M'Cartney was the name of this person, and 
apart from her costume, there was nothing about he 
but was calculated to inspire respect, as her conduc 


[was marked by great modesty and propriety. She 
),was a monarchist in politics, had supreme contempt 
,for the Abolition Government, and sneeringly enume- 
rated its lawless acts in support of her thesis — that 
,50oner or later all republican forms of government 
f fesolved themselves into unlimited despotisms. I 
was not tempted to controvert this position, being, 
,is it was, entirely in accordance with my own 
xperience of this ' most perfect Government the 
Min ever shone upon.' She demanded her freedom, 
as there was no proof against her ; and, for want of 
)0roof, she was, after a few weeks' imprisonment, 
discharged. I admired her spirit and independence, *- 
and wish her well wherever she may be. 
J This lady laid before the Government the most 
lorrible outrage committed in that Old Capitol 
frison — too dreadful, too revolting, to be mentioned 
fere. She also wrote to Miss Dix, with whom she 
(( vas well acquainted, describing the foul act, which 
paused Mr. Under-Secretary of War Watson to come 
io the prison under pretext of an investigation, which 
tufted the crime and responsibility from one set of 
officers and men to another, and was, in fact, a 
Aumbug, gotten up by the Superintendent Wood for 
3 he purpose of clearing himself, and allaying the 
ixcitement consequent upon the dark deed. 

s 2 





Extracts from my Journal : — 

March 18. — This day the United States Com 
missioners for the trial of State prisoners, Genera 
Dix and Governor Fairfield, called upon me, accom 
panied by their secretary and several subordinat 
officers, and were introduced most pompously b} 
Dr. Stewart, or Cyclops, as he is now called in th< 
prison. I had known General Dix formerly ven 
well. He was one of the few Northern poli 
ticians in whose integrity I entertained any con 


Idence, or for whom I felt any respect. He 

advanced most kindly and courteously towards me, 

introducing his colleague, and said that he had come 

in his capacity of United States Commissioner, to 

ascertain my wishes and offer his mediation and 

services, and would be heartily glad to be able to 

^erve me as an old friend. I thanked him, and 

replied that he had always had my most profound 

respect, but in his capacity of minister of a tyrant, I 

eould accept no service other than that he would * 

present my simple demand for justice against his 

Grovernment. He said that he regretted deeply to 

see my feelings so much embittered against the 

Grovernment whose flag we had alike honoured in 

Dther days ; that he had come here for the purpose 

3f enquiring into the condition of State prisoners, 

would enter upon the examination of my case, and 

teet all things right, and particularly desired to serve 

line. I said that I believed in the Mosaic law, which 

xaxacted an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. 

- 1 have been now nearly eight months a prisoner. 

jt am not prepared to say whether I will appear ^^/U^. 

Ii'before you in your capacity of commissioner. I 

iieny the power of your Government lawfully to 

ijleprive me of my legal rights. And as to that old 

:flag — there was a time when I looked upon it as 


the proudest emblem of human freedom on earth, 
and have in other lands bowed before it in holy 
reverence ; but now there is no pirate flag that floats 
upon the sea which is not more honourable in my 
eye, for none covers such infamy.' 

General Dix made some deprecatory reply, and 
turned to my child, who was lying flushed with fever 
on her bed of straw. I told him she was in need 
of food and air — for, in spite of General Words- 
worth's order, the quarrels between the superinten- 
dent and the officer still kept her pent up in that 
foul atmosphere. He laid his hand softly upon her, 
and said, ' Why, she has fever.' I said, ' Yes, sir.' 
He said, ' Here is a physician.' I replied, ' I have 
sent for one, and decline the services of that gentle- 
man.' He looked pityingly upon her and upon me, and 
I thanked God that Lincoln had not often employed 
agents such as he. So soon as General Dix and 
party got outside of my door, the pent-up wrath of 
Dr. Stewart broke out, and he launched against me 
the most bitter vituperation. I approached General 
Dix, and said, ' Sir, I claim your protection against 
this indignity. I believed you ignorant of the con- 
duct of this man, else you would never have allowed 
him to attach himself to your suite and enter my 
room, from which I was forced to call upon the 


officer of the guard to expel him, for conduct un- 
jrorthy of a man, upon a former occasion ; and I 
.now demand that you put an end to this scene. 
Dr. Stewart, with wonderful pertinacity, attempted 
:o go on ; but General Dix and Governor Fairfield 
each said, ' Stop, sir, and retire, if you please,' which 
lie was accordingly obliged to do ; and I confess I 
enjoyed his crest-fallen discomfited look more than 
.•my incident of the day. 

March 19. — It may be supposed that visions of 
freedom mingled with my dreams that night — far 
otherwise was the case. I had an uneasy feeling 
that so far as I was concerned, it was only intended 
Xo gloss over their tyranny and afford a pretext for 
still greater oppression. I knew the chiefs of the 
[Abolition Government too well to believe that 
[humanity would guide their counsels. ' The con- 
sciences of these gentlemen never struggled with a 
maxim of State ;' and I had unfortunately pene- 
trated too deeply into their real plans and designs for 
the future to make them feel satisfied of the wisdom 
of releasing me. 

Stanton had avowed himself averse to the policy 
of the Government on the subject of arbitrary 
arrest. Yet he contented himself, and quieted 
his conscience by being a passive spectator of the 


unlawful acts of his coadjutors. He was, in fact, too 
busy with his own schemes of personal aggrandise*, 
ment and safety, for he was by no means blind to 
the frail tenure of his official dignity. He was a 
man, however, of inordinate vanity and great self- 
reliance — theoretically, he had been a democrat. On 
entering the Abolition Cabinet, he believed that he 
could shape its policy to suit his own ends. His 
first object had been to force M'Clellan to resign. 
His own appointment had been made as a conciliatory 
measure towards Pennsylvania with this contingency 
in view. That accomplished, Stanton's political pro- 
gramme was all mapped out, for his aspirations were 
directed towards being;; the candidate of the Conser- 
vative party for President in 1864. He had sagacity 
enough to see that the reckless course of the faction 
who now controlled the destinies of the nation, would 
either end in the entire overthrow of even the sem- 
blance of a constitutional form of government, and 
the establishment of an unlimited despotism ; or a 
revolution, in which the conservative element would 
predominate. The discontent which very generally 
prevailed at this time, encouraged the belief that this 
latter was more than problematical, although the 
most rigid measures were taken by the Government 
to suppress every demonstration, by the establish- 


client of the severest censorship of the press, and the 
imprisonment of everyone who dared to question its 

Stanton had resolved that his resignation of his 
office should be consequent upon the signing of the 
Bill for the abolition of slavery in the district of 
Columbia, by Lincoln ; calculating that this defiant 
dct would rally around him at once a party strong 
mough to divert the current of events into the 
channel he desired. But ' the best laid schemes of 
mice and men gang aft aglee.' M'Clellan still meekly 
■aeld on to his place in spite of the continued humi- 
liations put upon him, with a blind faith in the des- 
-iny which was to help him out of the slough, and 
ead him on to glory. The Conservative party still 
unstained him. In this dilemma Stanton had one of 
Jwo alternatives before him — that of resigning his 
oosition and retiring from the political arena, con- 
ient to believe that a righteous act would bring- its 
f»wn reward ; or to plunge into the gulf of Abolition- 
ism, upon whose poisonous and loathsome waters 
integrity, and honour, and honesty shrivelled and 

Judge Black was said to have been his steady 
counsellor and friend during this season of indecision, 
,nd to have spirited him on by apt quotations from 


his favourite author Shakspeare, to take the fatal 
leap. Hence his resignation, which had been writ- 
ten out, was thrown into the lire, and he immersed 
himself in that foul pool, and entered the list of the 
champions for honours, to be achieved by the sacri- 
fice of the Government they affected to be waging 
war to uphold. 

Converts, whether in religion or politics, are uni- 
versally acknowledged to exceed in zeal or fanaticism 
the original professors. In politics this is peculiarly I 
the case, as the neophyte feels that, his antecedents 
being against him, he is specially called upon by 
some signal act of devotion to inspire confidence in 

his new associates. 

Hence we see greater activity infused into the 
councils of the Abolition Government, and a more 
demoniac policy announced for the future prosecu- 
tion of the war of subjugation. The flimsy mask 
which a wholesome dread of the world's opinion had 
forced them thus far to wear was thrown off, and the 
chances which a servile war would develope in their 
favour openly discussed ; and Lincoln, Seward, Stan- 
ton, and their confreres, chuckled in cold blood over 
the horrors — from which, to their minds, there was 
no escape — for the women and children, at least, of 
the whole South. 


Lincoln, to his credit be it said, was averse to this 
mancipation scheme in the manner proposed, for 
he even had heard of the horrors of St. Domingo ; 
)iit they plied him with strong arguments and 
-trong drinks, until his shallow reasoning faculties 
ivere confused, and he succumbed to the potent 
nfluences brought to bear upon him. Step by step 
t was resolved to develope this policy. The enor- 
aity of their wicked designs made them cautious ; 
nd they were not fully assured that some re- 
istance might not be offered to this worse than 
ravage warfare, against a people allied to them in 
naany instances by consanguinity, and with whom 
bey affected a desire to re-establish fraternal re- 

Butler, Halleck, and Hunter were the appropriate 
gents selected at different times and places to raise 
he standard of insurrection amongst the slaves, and 
d send them, with all their evil passions excited, 
jimidst the defenceless homes of the South, there to 
Lent their fury upon the women and children — the 
■I/hole male population being, as they well knew, in 
me service of their country. That this plan failed in 
:.s premeditated horrors, is due to that Divine mercy 
yhich has thus far thrown its protecting shield over 
ur young nation. 


Extracts from my Journal : — . 

March 25. — This clay I received a summons to 
appear before the United States Commissioners for 
the trial of State prisoners. I decided to obey 
the summons, as I felt some curiosity to know in 
what manner the trial would be conducted, what was 
the nature of the charges against me, and to what 
results it would be likely to lead. 

It was one of those raw uncomfortable days in 
which the cold penetrated to the marrow. The sun 
was obscured by clouds as dark as Yankee deeds, i 
and heavy flakes of snow were falling thick and fast. 
As I drove through the avenue from the prison to' 
the Provost-Marshal's Office, which was at the other 
end of the city, the filth and desolation were appal- 
ling, for even in those first days of the occupation 
the effects had not been so visible. However, I had 
no time for reflection upon the contrast which the: 
present and the past presented, as by this time the: 
carriage drew near the Provost-Marshal's. But hero n 
truly was there room for comparison. 

This had been the house of Mrs. Gwin, one of the j 
most elegant and agreeable in the city ; and, as I li 
passed up through the filthy halls and stairs, and the i 
filthy crowd of soldiers and civilians who lined the i 
way, my mind instinctively reverted to the gay and 


Irilliant scenes in which I had mingled in that house, 
and the goodly company who had enjoyed its hospi- 
tality. I was conducted to the third story, and put in 
r i room without fire, and kept there until my hands and 
? eet were completely benumbed with cold. A guard 
was stationed at the door, who rattled his musket in 
irder that I should have a comfortable sense of his 
Droximity. Numbers of officers in gay uniforms 
:ame in,' upon one pretext or another, in order 
_;o stare at me. I was detained in this maimer for 
nearly an hour, when the superintendent of the 
:01d Capitol Prison, Mr. Wood, in whose custody I 
was still regarded as being, came to conduct me 
oefore the commissioners, whose presence I reached 
with difficulty — a passage being forced for me to pass 
ihrough the soldiers who rilled the ante-chamber. 
!j Arriving before the door of the room in which the 
'commissioners held their seance, it was thrown open, 
mj name announced, and the commissioners ad- 
vanced to receive me, with ill-concealed embarrass- 
ment. I bowed to them, saying, ' Gentlemen, resume 
four seats' (for they were still standing). ' I recog- 
nise the embarrassment of your positions ; it was a 
joistake in your Government to have selected gentle- 
men for this mission. You have, however, shown 
jQe but scant courtesy in having kept me waiting 


your pleasure for nearly an hour in the cold.' The\ 
apologised, protesting their ignorance of my arrival 
&c. Some few complimentary remarks followed, anc 
I now took a survey of the scene. 

A large table was placed in the middle of the room 
at the upper end of which sat General Dix, and a 
the other extremity Governor Fairfield. Mr. Webster 
private secretary of Mr. Seward — as secretary of the 
commission — sat at a small table a little to the left o 
General Dix ; and two other persons at a similar tabh 
to the rear of Governor Fairfield. My own seat wa 
midway between the commissioners, in full view 0' 
the whole party. Large piles of papers lay befor 
General Dix, which he lingered uneasily, and seemec 
uncertain what to do. Governor Fairfield mad' 
( some unimportant remark ; to which I replied, ' 

rSiippose this is a mimic court, and I can answer o 


not, according to my own discretion.' One of tin 

reporters now said, ' If you please to speak louder 
madam.' I rose from my seat, and said to Genera 
Dix, ' If it is your object to make a spectacle of me 
and furnish reports for the newspapers, I shall havl 
the honour to withdraw from this presence.' Here 
upon both of the commissioners arose, and protested 
that they had no such intention ; but that it wa 
necessary to take notes, in order to lay before th< 


President and Congress. I then resumed my seat ; 
,and Governor Fairfield continued in a strain in no 
irespects different from that of an ordinary conversa- 
tion held in a drawing-room ; and to which I replied 
isarcastically, or caustically, as suited my purpose ; 
and a careless listener would have imagined that the 
commissioner was endeavouring with plausible argu- 
ment to defend the Government, rather than crimi- 
mate me. Finally, and after it had continued some 
ifcime, I said, ' But when is this dreadful ordeal — this 
itrial for treason, which has been heralded to the 
world with so much circumstance — to commence ? 
For I can scarcely believe that I have been brought 
rom my prison on this inclement day for the pur- 
loose of this very facetious and irrelevant conversa- 
tion, or be induced to regard it in the lio-lit of a 
ibrmal trial for life, liberty, and estate, attainder of 
iblood, and all the other ills of feudal times.' At this 
[■the subordinates laughed outright. Governor Fair- 
field coloured, attempted to speak several times, and 
i 'hanged his mind; and finally said, ' General Dix, you 
mre so much better acquainted with Mrs. Greenhow, 
nuppose you continue the examination ? ' I laughingly 
biid, ' Commence it, for I hold that it lias not begun.' 
b General Dix turned over and over again the 
papers before him, which were my letters seized by 


the detective police, and which, though relevant t< 
the subject-matter, had no legal importance o: 
bearing at this time. He selected one, laying hi 
hand upon it, but still hesitated. I watched hinj 
keenly. At last he said, ' You are charged wit); 
treason.' ' I deny it, sir. During the eight month 
of my imprisonment I have had ample time to stud 
the Constitution of the United States ; and there il 
no act or provision in it which will justify a charg 
of that nature against me.' ' And so you deny th; 
charge of treason ? ' 'I do, sir, most emphatically 
and, moreover, retort the charge against yourself ti 
being the minister of a President w T ho has violate 
r the Constitution, destroyed the personal rights of th 
t- citizen, and inaugurated revolution. At this momen 
sir, you are presiding at, and conducting, a trial ui 
lawful in every sense, and without even a pretenc 
of the legal form prescribed ; for the Constitution ( 
the United States is very precise and specific as t 
the mode in which a trial for treason shall be co 
ducted. It requires that the charge for treason sha! 
be sustained by two respectable witnesses, which yd 
could not find in all Yankeedom.' He then held \i 
the letter which he had selected. I immediate 
recognised it as the one I had caused to be mailc 
in Baltimore, and to which I have before allude 


I held out my hand, saying, ' Let me see it.' After 
a moment of indecision he gave it to me. I glanced 
my eye over its contents and returned it to him, 
saying, ' It is rather a clever letter, is it not ? ' 
General Dix replied, ' Mrs. Greenhow requires no 
new testimony in favour of her ability in the use 
of her pen.' I bowed my head, and said, ' Well, 
General, what next have you to say ? ' ' You are 
charged, madam, with having caused a letter which 
you wrote to the Secretary of State to be published 
-jin Eichmond.' ' That can scarcely be brought for- 
yward as one of the causes for my arrest, as I was 
some three months a prisoner when that letter was 
written ; and I myself regarded its undue publicity 
[prior to its publication at Eichmond) as a grave 
cause of complaint against the Secretary of State.' 
' You are charged, madam, with holding communi- 
cation with the enemy in the South.' ' If this were 
:jm established fact, you could not be surprised at it. 
J am a Southern woman, and I thank God that no 
; lrop of Yankee blood ever polluted my veins ; and as 

ill that I have ever honoured or respected have been 

Iriven by ruthless despotism to seek shelter there, 

<t would seem the most natural thing in life that 

il$:i should have done so.' 'How is it, madam, that 

r ou have managed to communicate, in spite of the 



vigilance exercised over you ? ' ' That is my secret 
sir ; and, if it be any satisfaction to you to know i 
I shall, in the next forty-eight hours, make a repoij 
to my Government at Richmond of this rather fai 
cical trial for treason.' ' General M'Clellan, madan 
charges you with having obtained a thorough knov\ 
ledge of his plans, and of forcing him consequent 
four times to change them.' At this I smiling 
shrugged my shoulders, without reply, saying, ' We 
what else ? ' After a few moments General Dix sai 
' Governor, I think we have nothing else to say 
Mrs. Greenhow?' To which Governor Fairfie 
replied, * No, sir, I think not.' Of course I do n 
pretend to relate the entire conversation — for 
could not be called an examination — but ha 
gleaned the most important points. I now sai 
'It seems to me a little extraordinary that, aft 
such grave charges as that of penetrating Cabin 
secrets and fathoming and thwarting the plans 
commanding generals, no curiosity should ha> 
been felt to arrive at the source of my so-call 
treason, if only as a measure of prevention for t 
future — as it is but reasonable to suppose I mi 
have had able coadjutors high in the natioi 
councils, and that this information must have soug 
me at my own house — as it can be clearly est 


Wished that I have never crossed the threshold of a 
iLincolnite. ' Oh ! that reminds me,' resumed General 
Dix. ' Did Lieutenant Sheldon ever take out com- 
punications for you ? ' ' Oh, certainly, by authority 
bf the Provost-Marshal. But if you wish to criminate 
pLieutenant Sheldon, you had better send for him 
imd question him on that subject, as I certainly 
i should not betray him or anyone else who might 
nave rendered me a service.' General Dix asked, 
i Where is Lieutenant Sheldon ? ' Mr. Webster re- 
: olied, ' With his regiment in Virginia.' 
i General Dix then said, ' I shall be very glad to 
r serve you, madam, and shall certainly advise the 

government to allow you to go South, or consult 
ti four wishes in any other respects ;' that he regretted 
iileeply my extreme bitterness, for which he could 
if.iee no reason, &c. I replied, ' That is the differ- 
ence between meum and tuum. I have been now 

|ght months a prisoner, subject during that period 
!to every insult and outrage which capricious tyranny 
ljkould invent ; my property stolen and destroyed ; 
tllhut up in close imprisonment, and actually suffering 
iijfihe torments of hunger. To this treatment has my 

idld of eight years been also exposed, thereby 
ueriously impairing her health. Not content with 

;his, I have been daily assailed in the journals of the 

T 2 


Administration, and sought to be dragged down t 
the level of the inmates of your White Hous 
Knowing me then as you do, it will not seei 
strange that, instead of crushing, this system shou 
have excited my contemptuous defiance and undyii 
hatred. On examining this evidence, you can bi 
smile at the absurdity of the charges, and tli 
extreme care not to extract any information froi; 
me. I have, however, sir, to return my most since] 
thanks to you and your colleague for the delicac 
and kind feeling which has characterised your bea 
ing towards me, and to congratulate you upon tl 
conclusion of a task which can be but httle in unisc 
with the feelings of gentlemen.' Thereupon bot 
commissioners advanced and shook hands, and e: 
pressed an earnest hope that I would very soon 1 
sent South. 

March 26. — This evening Mr. Wood came 
my room to announce that the reporter who toe 
down the examination was below and requested \ 
see me. I authorised him to bring him up. T} 
came to ask my permission to furnish a report of tl 
proceedings to the newspapers, saying that a Ne 
York and a Philadelphia paper had each offered hii 
five hundred dollars for it, and as the curiosity w; 
very great to see it, it would be impossible to pr 


rent accounts of some sort from getting out. I told 
Ifm that I had no objection for anything I had said 
;0 be known, my only desire being to avoid news- 
paper notoriety — besides, verbatim reports very 
arely did justice, &c. He replied : ' On the contrary, 
aadam, yours is calculated to make a great impres- 
ion. It has been read before the commissioners and 
fficial authorities, and the highest commendations 
estowed upon it.' He opened his papers and read 
'ome portions of it, which read smoothly enough, and 
]Sr eie certainly sufficiently explicit, so I withdrew my 
bjection as to its publication. That same night this 
erson received a peremptory order from Secretary 
sward, under penalty of imprisonment and heavy 
;: ite, not to furnish any article on the subject for the 
ress. Authorised statements, however, came out in 
1 of the papers that the arch-rebel, Mrs. Greenliow, 
id made a full confession of her acccomplices, &c. 
t On 30th March I received a letter from Mrs. S. A. 
ouglas, in which she said, ' I do believe you have 
Istern joy in your martyrdom, else you would em- 
face the opportunity to escape from it.' The 

-Ho wing is a copy of my reply : — 


' Old Capitol Prison : April 1. 

' My dear Adie, — You seem to have received the 
ea that my imprisonment has been a voluntary 


thing on my part. Some one doubtless, my dea 
has imposed upon your credulity, or endeavoured 
mislead you in regard to the facts of the case ; feelin 
perhaps ashamed to meet the judgment of a pui 
and unsophisticated mind upon an atrocity revoltii 
alike to humanity and the civilisation of the age, ai 
which no State necessity can palliate. 

' I have been now eight months a prisoner, ai 1 
until about two weeks asro had no official visit 
notice from any person belonging to the Goverl 
ment, save its detective police and subordinate of 
cers. At the time mentioned, the middle of Marc! 
General Wordsworth called upon me in his capaci 
of military Governor of the district, and it was wi| 
a feeling of relief that I found myself once more 
the presence of a gentleman, with a right to app< 
to him against the insults and iniquities practisJ 
against helpless women and children, even in t 
old Temple of Liberty, with the proud emblem 
our former glory flaunting to the breeze. 

' I have written repeatedly to the different me* 
bers of the Government, without being able to elil 
a reply. During all this period I have been in to 
ignorance of the charges against me. In the 1 
days of December Colonel Key called upon me, a! 
held some amiable conversation on the subject 


my going South ; but he distinctly told me that his 
visit was unofficial, and subsequently called to say 
ithat he was unable to carry out his very humane 
desires, because of the adverse influence of some 
parties. He did not name them, but I was well in- 
formed on the subject. . . . 

' No offer of release upon any terms has ever 
been made, and they cannot shield themselves from 
I the opprobrium of their acts by this means. I and 
j:my poor little child have been subject to barbarities 
which should call the blush to the cheeks of these 
jrpeople, if all sense of shame is not extinct. I will 
{not shock your modesty by narrating the various ex- 
it periences of my prison life ; but in my future use of 
these facts, I shall require no adventitious aid to 
:„make the narrative effective, for the simple stern 
^realities will throw into the shade the most extra- 
vagant efforts of imagination. 

'Since Mr. Stanton came into power a gradual 
change and amelioration of the prison system has\ 
been going on ; that he did not by one fell swoop 
:wipe them all out is, I suppose, because he had not 
the time. . . . 

' I told you in a former note that I had appeared 
before the commissioners ; that the examination was 
ll farce, being merely an amusing conversation, from 


which nothing was expected to be elicited ; and as 
they are both gentlemen, it is needless to tell you 
that the most high-bred courtesy marked the inter- 
view. This evening the superintendent informed 
me that the sentence of exile had been passed upon 
me ; but until I have received the official notifica-' 
tion, I of course cannot decide upon my future. 

' Do not, my dear, believe that I have any " stem 
joy in martyrdom.'" I am too keenly alive to the 
enjoyment of God's blessings to covet any such 
thing. I know now that hardships and severe triah 
are before me in the future. I am to be driver 
forth from my home by this magnanimous Govern- 
ment, in the midst of the bloodshed and carnage 
with which they are pursuing all who cherish mj 
own political faith. I may witness the horrors of r 
sacked city, or sleep within sound of the cannon't 
roar on the battle-field. These probable frightfu 
vicissitudes do not appal me, for a true woman haf 
her mission, even in scenes like this, in the exer- 
cise of the gentle charities which are her peculia] 
attributes. . . . 

' I shall demand them to make some needful pre 
paration, as all my effects have been destroyed oi 
purloined ; for you are probably not aware that, fron 
the first day of my arrest, I was not allowed even tc 


i collect my own clothes, and other things scattered 
through the different rooms of my house — so all 
>-, became the spoil of the spoiler. 

' I would to God I could obliterate the recollec- 
(. tions of the outrages of the last eighteen months, for 
I fear now that my capacity of hate will overshadow 
every other feeling. 

' I have been betrayed into writing this long letter, 
h my dear, when I only intended to correct the im- 
j pression that the Government had ever signified, in 
tany shape or form whatsoever, a desire to release 
in me ; else why not have sent me South, with the Phil- 
,-j lips family, seven months ago ? 

' Come soon to see me, for you are almost the sole 
link with this place, which was once my happy 

' Yours affectionately, 

' Eose O'R Greenhow.' 

April 2. — The examination of the various State 
u prisoners was still going on before the commis- 
sioners ; great excitement, of course, existed in the 
h prison. The superintendent amused himself by prac- 
\i tising upon the hopes and fears of the prisoners. He 
has persuaded Harry Stewart that he will be sen- 
i) tenced as a spy. 


April 3. — The superintendent this evening read 
me a copy of the decree of the commissioners in 
reference to me. The following is a copy of a letter 
of mine to the Military Governor on the subject : — 


' Old Capitol Prison : April 4. 

' General, — The superintendent of this prison has 
exhibited to me a paper purporting to be an official 
copy of a letter addressed to you by the commission 
sitting here for the trial of State prisoners. 

' If every vestige of civil and constitutional liberty 
had not been swept from this land by the " irrepres- 
sible conflict " party, I should appeal from this deci- 
sion to the legal tribunals ; as it is, I can only 

' But hi yielding to the edict of this revolutionary 
commission of banishment, I do so under protest ; 
and shall bind myself by no act or word to respect 
its conditions of not returning, as I should thereby 
admit the legality of their right to pronounce judg- 
ment against me. 

' I ask of your clemency time and freedom to 
make the necessary arrangements for clothes for 
myself and little child. Of course, if this is granted 


II me, I shall bind myself for the period allotted not to 
blow up the President's house, equip a fleet, break 
n open the treasury, or do any other small act which 
you may suppose comes within my limited powers 
to perform. 

' I most respectfully disclaim any intention of dis- 
respect to you, Sir, in this letter, as your courtesy 
and kindness during your single visit to me entitles 
you to my highest consideration. 

' I have the honour to be, most respectfully, 
' Eose O'N. Greenhow.' 

General Wordsworth sent me a verbal answer to 
this communication, denying me the privilege I 
asked ; saying, that ' my capacity for observing was 
too great, and that I would be sure to obtain in- 
formation valuable to the Confederacy' Also, that 
he could not grant me the time or other facilities for 
preparation. I thereupon wrote to Stanton, who 
gave instructions that certain parties should have 
access to me. 

The few days I had asked having expired, and 
receiving no notice of the intention of the Govern- 
ment on the important subject of my departure, and 
seeing very frequent allusions to myself in the papers, 
I addressed the following 



' Old CAriTOL Pnisoisr : April 14. 

' Sir, — I am now ready to leave this prison to go 
South, according to the decree of the commissioners 
to that effect. 

' I therefore pray that no unnecessary delay may 
take place on the part of the Government in allowing 
me to avail myself of the decision, and sincerely hope 
to be sent on Wednesday or Thursday, at furthest. 

' I shall esteem it an act of kindness, Sir, on your 
part to receive some notification on the subject. 

' I have the honour to be, very respectfully, 
' Eose O'N. Greenhow.' 

The ' New York Herald' published, a statement 
that I had protested against being sent away, pre- 
ferring to remain a prisoner in Washington. I wrote 
to Bennett, enclosing a copy of the above, with the 
following note: — 


' Old Capitol Prison : Tuesday night, April 15. 

' Sir, — I submit the above, which is a true copy 
of a letter addressed to the Military Governor of this 
district, as an answer to the rather stupid and ill- 
natured article in this evening's " Herald." 

' So far as regards myself, I should consider it a 


great trial to be obliged to live in this city under the 
present regime, for, according to my peculiar political 
ideas, all the refinement, all the intellect, which once 
constituted the charm of Washington society, has 
departed with my brethren of the South ; and I shall 
only too gladly avail myself of the edict which 
banishes me from my whilom home to go amongst 
kindred spirits, and to a land made glorious by its 
heroic resistance of the invader. 

' I ask, Sir, of your sense of justice, the insertion 
of this my disclaimer in your paper.* 
' Very respectfully, 

'Eose O'K Greenhow.' 

My serious apprehensions were now excited in 
regard to the intentions of the Yankee Govern- 
ment. I had no faith in any offer or promise from 
them, and I could glean no satisfactory information 
from the subordinate officers who approached me ; 
and rumours reached me from outside that they 
again contemplated sending me to Fort Warren, f 

* It is due to the editor of the ' Herald' to state, that this note, 
■which had necessarily to go through the hands of the Governor 
of the District, General Wordsworth, was by him torn in pieces, 
and thrown aside ; so it did not reach him. This information 
was given me by the officer who had charge of the note. 

f Colonel Dimick, the kind and gentlemanly officer in command 
at Fort Warren, was in great tribulation on account of the order 


Extract from my notes : — 

Sunday Morning, April 28. — This very hour, 
eleven o'clock, a prisoner — Mr. Wharton, of Mary- 
land — has been murdered in cold blood by a sentry. 
He was standing at his window, singing, and the 
sentinel, who was walking on his beat in the yard 
below, turned and deliberately shot him. It has 
been my fate, woman as I am, to have had a loaded 
musket pointed at my breast; and God alone knows 
what would have been my fate, had the superinten- 
dent of this prison not interposed. This appalling 
murder would be a reason, if no other existed, to 
make me wish to have the decree of the commis- 
sioners acted upon in good faith. 

On 21st of April I addressed the following note 
to General Wordsworth, Military Governor of the 
District : — 

'Old Capitol Prison. 

' Sie, — I addressed to you a note on the 14th 
instant, notifying you of my readiness to go South, 
according to the decree of the commissioners. 

' I have the honour to call to your notice the fact 

to hold a room in readiness for me ; and I have subsequently 
learned, that the Confederate prisoners who were there contri- 
buted in various ways so as to render the apartment selected foi 
me comfortable. General Buckner and General Brown were 
removed to the room when the change of policy sent me South. 


that I am now eight months a prisoner, and cannot 
regard any useless prolongation of that period but as 
a wanton act of cruelty ; and I would not willingly 
believe that you will lend yourself to it. 

' I most respectfully and earnestly urge you, Sir, to 

i perform the condition of sending me South without 

I further delay. I accepted it in good faith, believing 

! you all honourable gentlemen (General Dix, Governor 

( Fairfield, and yourself), and have gone to expense 

and trouble, in order to meet your mandate with as 

little delay as possible. And I now urge that no 

pretext may be laid hold of, in order to delay or 

evade a decision which is binding upon you to 


' I ask your attention to this as a man of honour 
and a gentleman. Meanwhile, I have the honour of 
being, &c. &c, 

' Eose O'K Greenhow.' 

To this I received no response, although it was, 
by the superintendent of the prison, placed in General 
do 'Wordsworth's hands. 




On the 22nd of April, the Honourable Mr. Ely camd 
to call upon me, and seemed magnanimously bent 01 
serving me in some way. He said that he had beei 
well and kindly treated at Eichmond (where he had 
been as a prisoner since the battle of Bull Eun), ancj 
he had come to see what he could do for me. 
told him that the only service I could receive iron 
him was, to ascertain from his Government th< 


reasons for my detention, after the notification I had 
received, and what they intended to do. On the 
26th he again called upon me. He told me that 
General Wordsworth informed him ' that the order 
for my detention had been given by M'Clellan, who 
objected to my release on the grounds that I knew his 
flans better than Lincoln, fyc. fyc, and that he did not 

wish me sent South at this time.' 

Ely brought with him a New York paper, com- 
menting harshly upon his visit to ' a lady who had 
! done the national cause so much injury, and hoping 
'that he would not repeat it, as his patriotism would be 
damaged by it in the public estimation^ &c. He 
told me that this paper was brought to his seat by 
i member of Congress, with a friendly admonition 
igainst the ' repetition of the imprudence.'' Ely said 
that he took out the pass he had, and said, ' I am 
foing to see Mrs. Greenhow at this moment, and 
will do all I can to resist this fanatical persecution, 
hr they did not treat me so at Fachmond.' On 
Iking leave he asked me for my carte de visite 
•A; which I gave him), and said, 'Madam, I will call 
n. again to see if I can be of use,' &c. &c. I replied, 
'No; you will be refused a pass. They are afraid 
oil.est my fearless denunciations of their infamies may 
tbji>pen the eyes of their followers, and make them 



question the orthodoxy of Abolitionism.' I subse- 
quently learned, through a message from Ely, that 
my prediction had been verified ; for, on application 
again for a pass to visit me, it had been refused — and 
this was the last I heard of the Honourable Mr. Ely 
The tedium of my prison life at this time was 
greater than I can depict, and I now also began to 
realise the fact that my physical health was being 
gradually undermined by want of exercise and want 
of proper food. A feeling of lassitude was stealing 
/ over me, and a nervous excitability which prevented 
me from sleeping. My child's health was failing 
alarmingly also. I had nothing to read, and even 
the newspapers were served or not, according to the 
caprice of my jailors, and were very sure to be with 
held whenever they contained Southern news. ■ M3 
room swarmed with vermin, which the warm weathe: 
now caused to come out in myriads from their hiding 
places ; and, although at this time allowed the hall 
hour exercise in the prison yard, I could not regan 
it as relaxation, for the yard was filled with th 
stolen negroes, who lay about, obstructing the wall? 
or engaged in boisterous practical jokes during th 
while, in utter disregard of social distinction, an 
even ventured to seat themselves on the same bencl 
And I must also add that the association with th 


' women prisoners was but a shade less obnoxious 
i| than that of this degraded servile class. Each 
'i day brought some collision between them and the 
1 guard, which was mortifying to me in the extreme. 

The guard were at this time often extremely inso- 
lent, and questioned the slightest rule of privilege, so 
that it was necessary to make constant appeals to the 
I officer on duty. One day, on going down, the guard 
very rudely placed his musket before me, and said, 
' You shall not go down that way,' and ordered me 
wo go by a dirty back stair, which was not the usual 
I route. I immediately sent for the officer of the 
guard, Lieutenant Miller, who passed me down. 
Some time after the woman Baxley, and the one 
calling herself Mrs. Morris, or Mason, attempted to 
"go down, and were also stopped by the guard, with 
whom they entered into an angry contest, and re- 
solved in defiance to force their way through them. 
^Morris was pushed into a corner, and held there by 
' : ia bayonet crossed before her, whilst the more daring 
mi the two, Baxley, seized on the musket that ob- 
structed her passage, and attempted to pass under 
[ lit. The guard cursed her. She struck him in the 
f face, which caused his nose to bleed, and he knocked 
'her down and kicked her. Attracted by the commo- 
ifbn, I went up, under escort of Lieutenant Miller, 

u 2 


when this statement was given to me and to the 
officer by the women, amidst sobs and cries — the 
guard, also, who witnessed it, giving substantially 
the same account. Thus it will be seen that I must 
have suffered much from this humiliating association. 
Captain Higgins came up to speak with me on the 
subject, greatly mortified at the occurrence, and said 
that he would punish the guard if he could have any 
justification in doing so. I told him that I thought 
it was a case which he could not take cognisance of, 
as he could only regard it as a fight between a 
prisoner and a guard, in which the prisoner was the 
aggressor. Captain Higgins then implored those 
prisoners to have no words with his guard, but to 
appeal to him in case of insolence or disrespect, and 
that they should be summarily punished. 

At this time I occasionally saw members of my' 
family, who were admitted to see me under the 
special order to that effect from Secretary Stanton: 
although the privilege was necessarily used with 
great caution, as all who were known to be m) 
friends were in consequence put under the surveil 
lance of the detective police. The health of m\ 
child troubled me greatly. All her buoyancy \va; 
gone, and she would now he for hours upon my lar 
with — ' Mamma, tell me a story ; ' and, with a heavy 



'1 heart, I have often beguiled her with wild and 
[ mprobable legends, until she would fall into feverish 
i slumbers in my arms. Finally I resolved to make 
ft another appeal in behalf of my family physician 
•j being permitted to visit her, and wrote to General 
I- Wordsworth on the subject, stating her condition, 
&c. General Wordsworth, upon the receipt of my 
' note, and the endorsement by the Superintendent of 
1 the alarming condition of the child, gave orders that 
.'Dr. Miller (who was himself under surveillance) 
; should have a special order to visit me. 

Dr. Miller, upon visiting me, found the condition 
i of the child critical, and represented to the General 
the necessity of her having more nutritious food, 
f i also air and exercise ; and thenceforward she was 
taken out very generally for a short time each day 
by one or other of the officers. Captain Higgins, 
Lieutenant Miller, and Lieutenant Holmes, were each 
.very kind to Eose ; they seemed to be ashamed of 
'the persecution which could go so far as to threaten 
| the life of a little child of eight years. 

Several Federal officers were at this time confined 

lUias prisoners for various offences. One Dr. Cox, a 

surgeon in the regular United States Army, was 

p arrested for disloyalty to the Government and 

"[ sympathy with the rebels. I had a great deal of 


conversation with this officer through the keyhole of 
his door, the room being the same which had been 
occupied by Mrs. M'Cartney. He was the son of 
Dr. Cox, of Philadelphia, and a man of cultivation. 
After some weeks of imprisonment, his resignation, 
which had been previously tendered, was accepted, 
and he was liberated on parole. The others were 
mostly German officers taken up for stealing (or 
peculation, the term brought in vogue by Cameron), 
one the chief of Carl Schutts' staff. 

A Mr. Morton, ex-Lieutenant-Governor of the 
State of New York, was a prisoner by order of 
Seward, whose deadly animosity he had excited. 
Poor man ! he was most inhumanly treated, and was 
gradually dying from the effects of it. The keenest 
sympathy of all the prisoners was excited on his 
behalf. He was allowed communication with no 
one, not even his wife ; and when his half-hour of 
exercise in the prison yard came round, everyone 
was driven in as if he had been stricken with the 
plague, and a solitary walk prescribed, in sight but 
out of reach of communion with the guards even. 
I frequently sent out letters for him ; but as he was 
in solitary confinement it was very difficult, and 
required the cooperation of several persons. The 
process was this : Avhen Morton went down in the 


yard lie would watch his opportunity to bow to 

i me — I having been previously notified that he was 

below. If I had an opportunity to communicate 

, outside, I would hold up a letter — if not, would 

, shake my head; and bitterly would my heart ache 

,when I would see the desponding manner with 

which the poor fellow would let his head fall upon 

yhis breast when I would give the negative signal. 

,By means of a string he would pass his letter to 

Captain Pliny Bryan, C.S.A., who would pass it by 

<ia similar process to Dr. Cox, U.S.A., from whom it 

] would reach me. 

My anxiety was at this time intense to receive 
correct information from the Confederacy. Things 
of vast importance were transpiring ; and although I 
shad long since discarded all faith in Yankee accounts 
of current events, being well satisfied of their men- 
dacious character, I knew too well the power and 
i malignity of the Government arrayed for the purpose 
< of crushing us, to lull myself into a false security or 
teven momentary forgetfulness of the perils which 
. threatened us on all sides. In spite of our continued 
s successes, gloom hangs over our devoted land. What 
matters it that we repulse the Vandals at every 
i point? The battle of Shiloh, where the brave and 
« accomplished Sidney Johnson fell, and which would 


have decided the fate of Europe, was scarcely felt by 
the invaders, who take no account of human life so 
long as their shattered ranks are filled up by the 
outcasts of civilised Europe, and so long as greedy 
speculators and contractors are reaping harvests in 

The fate of New Orleans at this time made me 
weep tears of blood. Oh ! better that she had buried 
her whole population under her smoking ruins, than 
to have been given over a bloodless victory to the in- 
vaders ; and from my soul I pray that heavy retribu- 
tion may fall upon the dastards in the dark tragedy ! 

May 1. — The Abolition General, Butler, is in com- 
mand of New Orleans. This man is, perhaps, better 
fitted to execute the wholesale order of Messrs. 
Seward & Co. — of devastation, rapine, and murder — 
than any other who could have been selected. He 
was a Northern democrat ; had been a member of 
the Charleston Convention, where he exerted all his 
faculties in widening the breach and inflaming sec- 
tional animosities. He advocated the dissolution of 
the Union as one of the inevitable necessities of 
Lincoln's election, and no man hurled bolder defiance 
at the Abolition party, or denounced the unconsti- 
tutionality of their measures in more unequivocal 
terms. He proclaimed the doctrine of the inalien- 


able rights of the South, and counselled resistance 
<m the last measure of self-protection. This man 
'remained in the councils of the Southern, party up to 
;a late hour, and heartily concurred in the justice of 
ithe doom of the miscreant John Brown. 

One of the first administrative acts which emanated 
from Brigadier-General Butler as military Commander 
(if New Orleans was the Order No. 28, commanding 
that the whole female population of that city should 
be subjected to outrage and infamy, as common women 
wf the town. Comment hereupon would be out of 
3lace. The shuddering; abhorrence with which the 
whole civilised world received its annunciation is 
•//he best record of this man's crimes to nations yet 

Another of those Northern democrats, -Caleb Cush- 
ng, who had been President of the Charleston Con- 
tention, asked me, at the time that the Virginia 
Convention was in cession, 'if I thought that the 
ordinance of secession would be passed.' I said 
[T.Yes,' as I knew that certain measures were in con- 
'; emplation by the Abolition Government which would 
nake it imperative — alluding to the call for 75,000 
nen then being urged upon Lincoln. He replied, 
I am very glad to hear it. I feared that Virginia 
rould decide upon " armed neutrality ;" and the 


South, in my opinion, has no other alternative in 
this crisis, in order to maintain her own dignity and 
independence, but to secede. Her Northern friends 
and supporters have a right to expect that she will 
not back down,' &c. Further conversation on this 
head followed, and I was so much impressed with 
his strong Southern views and sympathies, that I 
almost forgot that this man had once written and 
printed puffs eulogistic of himself. 

A few months later, when the fanatical Abolition 
war fever was at its height, Caleb Cushing asked to 
be appointed Brigadier-General in the Abolition 
army, in order to aid in the subjugation of a people 
whom he had recommended to resort to arms, as 
the only means left to them for the preservation of 
their rights, and to drive the invader from their soil 
consistency ! thou art a jewel unknown to Northern 
placemen. Lincoln refused him the appointment 
not having confidence in the stability of this last act 
of faith — so I was informed by Senator Wilson, of 

This was the gloomiest period of my life. Time 
dragged most heavily. I had absolutely nothing to 
occupy myself with. I had no books, and often no 
paper to write on, and those who approached mo 
appeared entirely oblivious of the mental as well as 


[physical wants of a prisoner. My imprisonment 

seemed destined to be indefinitely prolonged. Hope 

?3ven had fled, and left me chafing against my prison 

oars, with the iron of the despot eating into my 


I contrived to elude the vigilance of my gaolers, 
1 which was now greater than ever, and send a note 
[,o the Honourable James M. Bayard, United States 
senator from Delaware, with a request that he would 
riscertain what was to be my fate, for the doubt and 
[uncertainty which hung over me was more trying to 
:ne than the darkest reality. 

Mr. Bayard, in pursuance of my request, went 

vo General Wordsworth, the military Governor of 

pe district, and was told by him ' that M'Clellan 

had countermanded the order for sending me South, 

.nd protested against it on the ground that I knew 

ids plans better than Lincoln, having caused him four 

"imes to change them, and demanded that I should 

>e held a prisoner for the war ' — thus repeating 

ubstantially the old story. Mr. Bayard also ob- 

ained a pass to visit me, by reason of his having 

Xieen a class-mate of Wordsworth's. 

Meanwhile, eveiy species of annoyance was put 
• pon me. My friends, on calling at the Provost- 
larshal's, were often informed that I had been gone 


South some several weeks, and their newspapers pub- 
lished characteristic paragraphs about . me : some- 
times that I vehemently protested against leaving' 
Washington ; at others, that I had made a full con-! 
fession of my treason. In answer to a paragraph 
that went the rounds on this head, and which was 1 
copied into the ' Baltimore News Sheet,' I wrote the 
following : — 

4 Sir, — I wish to correct a statement which has 
been copied into your paper. I have made no con- 
fession of treason, or treasonable correspondence ; 
neither was I subjected to an examination intended 
to bring to the light my sources of information. I 
but claim the right which our fathers did in '76 — to 
protest against tyranny and oppression.* 
' Very respectfully, 

'Kose O'K Greenhow.' 

* This note accidentally found its way into some books sen 
by me to the President's house, and was returned to me with thi. 
following gratifying note from the President : — 

' Richmond : May 26, 1863. 
' Dear Madam, — The enclosed was found on the floor of ni} 
residence, and is returned to its owner. Accidentally I have 
thus been made acquainted with another of the many bitter trial: 
to which your free spirit was subjected while your person wa( 
in the power of a vulgar despotism. 

'Very respectfully and truly yours, 

' Jefferson Davis.' 


Extracts from my notes in Old Capitol Prison : — 
Saturday, May 10. — This clay at five o'clock the 
, Yankees formally took possession of Norfolk, our 
jifcroops having evacuated it in the forenoon. Direful 
events seem rapidly chasing each other. At first I 
did not credit it, the Yankee papers having for the 
last ten days heralded the important event. The 
Virginia, the noble Virginia, also destroyed ! I 
would rather have lost both of my hands than to be 
Ibliged to write this fact as un fait accompli. The 
exultation of the Yankees and their insolence are 
beyond all description. Strange, no feeling of de- 
spondency is in my heart. My confidence in the 
ultimate result — the achievement of our indepen- 
dence — is strong as the faith planted on the Eock of 
A.ges ; and even in this dark hour the star of hope 
irises steadily beyond the gloom, guiding us on to 
victory and to empire. These great calamities have 
Hfeen permitted in order to arouse our people to 
i full sense of their peril, and to corresponding 
neasures of resistance against our ruthless invaders. 
Altogether this has been a dark day in the prison. 
It may perhaps be well to say that my notes are 
Drincipally in cipher. Captain Bryan and Harry 
Stewart are going to escape to-night — the attempt to 
:>e made when the guard whom they have bribed 


comes on at midnight. I long for the morrow, and 
the ' All's well !' A presentiment of evil weighs me 
down. I have a raging nervous headache. I hav 
just bidden them both good-bye, and given Bryan 
my pistol. This continued anxiety is killing me. 

Sunday Morning, May 11. — I was aroused at a littl 
after five by the report of a rifle, and a cry enough t< 
startle the dead : Harry Stewart had been shot b} 
the guard whom he had bribed. Being disappointec 
in the attempt at night, Bryan had given it up 
But poor impetuous confiding Harry Stewart wa 
induced by the guard, when he came on again a 
five, to renew the attempt. Dr. Cox and the othel 
Yankee officers confined in the room above hean 
the plot between the guards to murder him ; the mai 
who was in his pay saying to the other, ' When h> 
gets fairly out of the window I will cry " Halt ! " anc 
fire at the same time ; you hold your fire until h< 
is down, and then give it to him.' The agreemen 
by Stewart had been to give the man fifty dollar 
after he got down. The supposition was that the' 
thought to rob him as they carried him round to th 
prison entrance. His friends, however, defeated thi 
by drawing him up into his room. His leg wa 
dreadfully shattered, making amputation necessary 1 
but he was so much prostrated by loss of bloo 


previous to the operation that he could not rally 
from the effects of the chloroform, but died between 
three and four o'clock. 

On the evening of the 12th an examination took 
place in the prison, ostensibly for the purpose of 
establishing the fact of the bribery, and Dr. Cox 
iand the other Yankee officers made the statement 
i above ; and it is inexplicable why the victim had not 
,been warned by them of the murderous plot. 

My own evidence was taken, having been cog- 
nisant of the whole affair, and hearing the agreement 
fwith the guard. I was asked if I would aid a 
^prisoner in an attempt, &c. I answered ' Yes.' I 
considered it a point of honour to render any aid in 
money or otherwise. The woman calling herself 
Morris certified that I had furnished the means, 
through my sister, Mrs. Leonard, for the escape, &c, 
^thereby causing the arrest and detention of my sister 
,|for several days. She demanded to be brought 
i; j,'before the Secretary of War, when the Assistant- 
secretary Watson informed her that the charge had 
jjjpeen made against her by this woman ; at the same 
ji:ime he released her from custody. I saw my sister 
r ,j.3ut once afterwards, when she left the city as no 
, r ,onger a safe place for her. 
)0( My child is so nervous from a repetition of these 


dreadful scenes that she starts and cries out in her 
sleep. Horrors like this will shatter the nerves ol 
the strongest. 

loth. — The murderer has been released from 
custody, promoted to a corporal, and put again on 
duty on this post. I sent for the officer of the 
guard, and remonstrated against it as an outrage and 
insult to every prisoner, and that, if allowed to re-| 
main, he would probably be killed before the day 
was over. He was in consequence sent away. 

May 14. — The sky of our destiny is brightening 
The successes of the gallant Ashby and Jackson have 
inspired the Yankees with wholesome dread, and 
they again apprehend a descent on Washington; 
But they watch me more closely in consequence 
When will this end ? I am nearly starved. I haq 
a fowl served up to me to-day (or rather a small 
piece of one), which must have been the cock whicll 
crowed thrice to wake Peter; we could not get oui 
teeth through it. Eose cried heartily, for she wa 
very hungry. Captain Bryan, and the other gentle 
men below, have just smuggled me a supper, 
should starve but for the considerate kindness o| 
these gentlemen. 

May 15. — Last night the wildest panic prevailec] 
The long roll was beat : the guard doubled roun 



the prison ; and the rumbling of artillery and 
1 tramp of men, yelling and cursing as they marched, 
tept us all on the qui vive. Yet even amidst our 
mild, hopes mingled dread, for we believed that our 
'brutal guard would endeavour to wreak their ven- 
Jgeance upon us in the event of an attempt at 
trescue : threats to that effect had often been vaguely 

; The panic was caused by a number of mules 
breaking their coral, and coming across the Long 
^Bridge. The clatter of their hoofs alarmed the 
'pickets, who fled in great terror, communicating the 
Jpanic in their route, that Jackson, Ashby, and Stuart 
Were in hot pursuit, with a mighty army. 

Oh that it had been true ! that our hosts could 
'sweep over their lands, and leave behind the deso- 
lating footprint of war! for as yet this people have 
H'inown none of its horrors, but made mighty profit 
! thereby. Their manufacturing interests are revived 
jjiivith renewed energy in the furnishing of implements 
epff war, clothing, and other supplies for their vast 
itrmies in the field, whilst Mr. Chase complacently 
duplicates greenbacks, chuckling over the issue of 
sach additional million as a step nearer to national 
bankruptcy, and the absolute despotism which is to 
ise out of the ruin of the old system. 



Heaven speed them in their work ! and may nc 
ray of common sense stay their onward march ! 

How farcical now seem the boasted Government 
of our fathers, the Declaration of Independence, and 
the Constitution of the United States ! — almost as 
much so as the Constitution of the kingdom oi 
Lilliput, and which the first rude shock has scatterec 
to the winds. That profound and thinking mer 
should now believe in the permanence of a system 
based upon such feeble security as the integrity of 
the governing power is still the wonder. 

I can only hope that the experience of the past 
will guide our own people in the formation of a 
Government which will be eternal, with no element 
of disruption in it. 

May 17. — We are all in good spirits. Account^ 
are received daily of skirmishes, in which our people 
are always successful. The Yankees are in continual 
dread of Jackson's advance on Washington. 

May 18. — A senatorial committee have just visitec 
the prison. I cannot understand precisely the object 
of it, although certainly not meant for the benefit ol 
the prisoners. Wood is very uneasy. Wilson, o1 
Massachusetts, was brought by him to see me, anc 
in the course of conversation told me that I was, up 
to that period, the most important prisoner taken ; 


itat lie had, nevertheless, advised my being imme- 
liately sent South, but 4 that Seward, M'Clellan. 
md the rest ' thought differently ; that I would 
soon, however, be set free, as the rebellion would 

oe crushed out in a little while, as Eichmond had 
tlready fallen. I told him that, if Richmond fell, it 
vould bury the Abolitionists under its ruins, and rise 
rom its ashes the capital of a mighty empire. I do 
lot venture to repeat the whole of my conversation 
vith this Abolition leader, for all the bitterness and 
xmtempt which I felt for his race was thrown into 
I In the course of the interview I had the satis- 
action of seeing the jealousy and division amongst, 
hemselves, which I welcomed with joy, as the avant- 
ourier of the bitter retribution — in the shape of 
ivil war at the North — which is to terminate the 

tJ ational existence of that corrupt and debased people, 
he progress of events is slow but sure, for they now 
roan under the yoke of absolute despotism, although 
111 outspoken expression of discontent is suppressed, 
he leaders are, however, aware of its existence, and 
ope to avert the catastrophe by a vigorous invasion 

5 1 the South, and the employment of all the evil 
J assions of their race in that unholy crusade. 
May 19. — There is again a talk of removing me 
another prison. Since the murder of Harry 

x 2 


Stewart, all my friends are interdicted from visitim 
me ; and as I will not associate with the womer 
prisoners, I am in absolute solitude. The hope o 
being released has quite unsettled my prison routine 
and I find it very difficult to fix my mind on any 
thing but the unutterable weariness of my lot, Whei 
will it end ? I shrink with terror from the content 
plation of the indefinite future, and try to fix mj 
mind upon the heroic deeds of my countrymen — fo 
in them indeed is my trust, my only hope. 

May 21. — Mr. Wood came to me just now, an< 
told me, if I would write him a note asking him t< 
recover my papers, that he thought he could ge 
them. I question it very much ; nevertheless, I wil 
do it : so I addressed him the following note : — 


'Old Capitol Prison: May 21. 
' Sir, — Believing that the " decree " for my releas* 
of your Revolutionary Commission will be acte 
upon some time before the miUennium, I therefor 
most respectfully beg that you will use every ex 
ertion to obtain the restoration of my papers, seize 
some nine months ago, when I was first made 
prisoner by order of this invincible Government 
' Very respectfully, 

' Eose O'K Greexiiow.' 


To this demand I received the following reply : — 

i ' Mrs. Greenhow,— -If you will be kind enough to 
'dispense with the God and Liberty style in your 
wonunciamento, and give me a plain power of 
ttorney to receipt for your papers, I shall use every 
tower to obtain them ; and I shall be happy to 
estore them to you (the proper person to have 
hem). C W. P. Wood.' 

To this I answered Mr. Wood : — - 

' To make reference to God, or Liberty either, 
©hind the bars of this prison, to its admirable 
mministrator, would be — knowing your peculiar 
iews — in as bad taste as writing in a dead language. 
Is to my papers, they may even remain where they 
re until I shake off the chains of tyranny. 
' Very respectfully, 

' Eose O'N. Greenhow.' 

In order to make the above intelligible, I must 
:ate that this man was an infidel — that he derided 
liristianity, and exercised his astute reasoning 
owers in the analysis of those mysteries which our 
ull materialism was not destined to fathom, as 
roofs of the absurdity of a faith founded upon 


theories and traditions so wild and vague as to b 
rejected when submitted to the test of reason. He als< 
rejected the evidence of the Bible in support ol 
Christianity, and denied its sacred character. His 
text-book was the writings of Paine ; and if anyone 
asked him for a book to read, lie was sure either tc 
give them, as a great favour, a folio volume of his 
own writings, collected in the form of a scrap-book 
with the ideas of Paine intensified or diluted, or else 
as a special mark of grace, the works of that infidel 
for, apart from other peculiarities patent to ever} 
prisoner, his desire to make proselytes to his owi 
■want of faith was the ruling passion of his soul. H 
was vindictive, cunning, and ambitious, repelled witl 
warmth any claim to being considered a gentleman 
and yet, strange to sa} T , was by no means devoid o: 
some generous inspirations ; for I have known hin: 
to perform acts of great magnanimity and gene- 
rosity. Stanton was his patron, to whom he seemec 
bound by strong ties. So it will be readily seen thai 
he neither feared God nor man, and that Willian 
P. Wood, Abraham Lincoln, and the Emperor o 
Russia were the most irresponsible absolute despot: 
on earth. 

lord. — My existence is now a positive blank 
Day glides into day with nothing to mark the nigh 


of time, and hope paints no silver lining to the 
clouds which hang over rne. Wood tantalises me 
each day with expectation of something which never 
happens. In a fit of vexation I ordered him not to 
■address himself to me save in his official capacity. 
I almost wish I had not done it ; for the chattering 
of a monkey would even break pleasantly on the 
monotony of my life. 

May 25. — To-day, as I walked in the prison yard, 
'a prisoner captured at Front Eoyal, Virginia, threw at 
;my feet a small piece of paper containing intelligence 
l [ which made my heart leap with joy. I eagerly de- 
voured its contents, which were that a battle had 
{■been fought on the 23rd and 24th at Front Eoyal, in 
1 which we had gained a great victory, having driven 
•the Yankees from the town, and taken 1,470 pri- 
soners, besides a large quantity of stores, which we 
-very much needed. All honour to the brave Jack- 
'■ son, who is now the special terror of the Yankees ! 
1 2Qth. — Great excitement prevails here. The Abo- 
■'! litionists are again sending off their families. Last 
i night I put my candle on the window, in order to 
\ get something out of my trunk, near which it stood, 
all unconscious of committing any offence against 
\ prison discipline, when the guard below called out, 
! ' Put out that light.' I gave no heed, and only 


lighted another ; whereupon several voices took up 

the cry, adding, ' D n you, I will lire into your 

room.' Eose was in a state of great delight, and 
collected all the ends of candle to add to the illumi- 
nation. By this the clank of arms and clatter of 
feet, in conjunction with a furious rap at my -door, 
and demand to open it, announced the advent of 
corporals and sergeants. My door was now secured 
inside by a bolt which had been allowed me. I 
asked their business. Answer — 'You are making 
signals, and must remove your lights from the 
window.' I said, ' But it suits my convenience to 
keep them there.' ' We will break open your door 
if you do n't open it.' ' You will act as you see 
fit, but it will be at your peril.' They did not 
dare to carry out their threat, as they knew that I 
had a very admirable pistol on my mantel-piece, 
restored to me a short time since, although they did 
not know that I had no ammunition for it. The 
guard, meanwhile, were doubled around the prison 
on every post, and the 'All's well' cried throughout 
the night. I subsequently explained to the officer of 
the guard the absurdity of the whole proceeding, 
which he had the good sense to admit. An order, 
however, came from the Provost-Marshal to capture 
my pistol, which was accordingly clone with reluc- 


tance by Lieutenant Miller. I relate this as one of 
the absurd events which were constantly occurring, 
sometimes in a far more offensive form. 

27th. — Oh, how weary I am ! I have not had 
j even the newspapers for several days. An odd 
volume of ' Silvio Pellico ' has helped me to beguile 
ithe heavy hours ; but the similarity of my own fate 
iwith that of other victims of tyranny does not 
.diminish my sense of suffering. The heat is intense, 
with the sun beating down upon the house-top and 
In the windows ; the stench terrible ; and hunger 
ignawing at one's vitals ; for, alas ! I cannot eat the 
food set before me. My child is looking pale and 
ill. ' He who entereth here leaves hope behind' 
is written in letters of blood over the portal of 
(Lincoln's prison. But even in this bitter cup there 
is a sweet drop of consolation : it is that the gulf is 
widening between the two races ; each victim immo- 
lated by the tyrant but makes the barrier more 
impassable. That thought sustains me in the dread 

28th. — The Yankee papers this morning are cer- 
tainly trying to cover a defeat under extravagant 
boastings. Mr. Stanton is a<min exhibiting his skill 
in his peculiar line in aid of Mr. Chase's Wall-Street 
j gambling. Have just had a telegram from below 


that a battle lias been fought at Winchester, where 
the Yankees were defeated with great loss by Stone- 
wall Jackson. This news was brought in by some 
prisoners just arrived ; also, that our great and good 
President is in perfect health, the Yankees having 
reported him in a critical state. ' The wish was 
father to the thought.' May angels guard him, for 
his country's sake ! 

2Qth. — Alarm here on the increase. Jackson 
supposed to be en route for Washington. Yankee 
sentinels very humble and conciliatory. Banks 
states that his defeat was caused by the War De- 
partment taking away 10,000 men to reinforce 
M'Clellan, &c. 

30^. — A long dull day, with tantalising rumours 

of my being sent to Fort Warren. Wood says I am 

certainly to be sent away, and advises me to hold 

myself in readiness. Alas ! my faith in Yankee 

.human nature is lono; since o;one. 

H^VT^ 'Saturday, May 31— At two o'clock to-day Wood 

^\ came in with the announcement that I was to start 

at three o'clock for Baltimore. It being impossible 

I to be ready at that hour, the time was extended to 

five o'clock. There was a terrible scene between 

Wood and the woman Baxley last night; she raved 

and screamed throughout the night. I could not 


E sleep, so have a dreadful nervous headache with 
- which to begin my journey. I do not pretend to 
t understand the merits of the case. In justice I must 
state how very kind Captain Higgins, Lieutenant 
Miller, and Mr. Wood have been to-day. Captain 
Higgins carried me throughout the prison, to say 
' Good-bye ' to my companions in captivity. I ex- 
horted them all to bear up bravely under their 
J misfortune — not that they needed it, for all burned 
to be free, to share in the glorious struggle now 
( going on. God grant that they were, for many a 
stout arm would strike a blow for freedom ! 

After taking leave of these kind friends, Captain 

Higgins introduced Lieutenant ■ , who was, by 

i order of the War Department, to be the chief of 

i my escort. He had six men detailed to accompany 

him, making quite a military display, dressed in full 

t uniform, with sword and carbine in hand. Outside 

of the prison the whole guard were drawn up under 

arms, besides a mounted guard of twelve men, also 

with swords and carbines. Before entering the car- 

s riage I turned to the officer and said, ' Sir, ere I 

( advance further, I ask you, not as Lincoln's officer, 

i but as a man of honour and a gentleman, are your 

orders from Baltimore to conduct me to a Northern 

1 prison, or to some point in the Confederacy ? ' He 


replied, with politeness and promptness, ' On my 
honour, madam, to conduct you to Fortress Monroe, 
and thence to the Southern Confederacy, in proof 
of which I show you my order for transportation,' 
&c. Satisfied on this head, I entered the car- 
riage. The woman Baxley, and the one calling 
herself Mrs. Morris, Mason, &c, were sent at the 
same time. The superintendent who accompanied, 
and the officer and guard, as also the mounted 
escort, followed the carriage, with carbines and 
drawn swords, to the depot. Arrived there, a large 
force was in attendance to prevent communication 
with sympathising friends. These precautions, how- 
ever, failed, for many a word was stealthily whis- 
pered, and many a hearty ' God bless you ! ' spoken. 
A separate car was taken for the prisoners and 
guard. Arriving at Baltimore, the car in which I 
was was kept back until all the passengers had left 
the depot — a strong military guard being here also 
in attendance. I was put into a carriage with my 
child, the other prisoners in another, and was driven 
(with the officer inside of the carriage with me, and 
the guard on the box) to the Gilmer House, the 
officer and guard jealously watching to prevent com- 
munication. Apartments being prepared, I was taken 
to mine. Sentinels were stationed at the different 


doors to prevent communication, all intercourse 
being prohibited. My name had been put in the 
register. The detective Baker, by order of General 
Dix, had it erased, as they did not wish it known 
that I was in that rebel city. 

General Dix, being telegraphed to go to Washing- 
ton, left early on Sunday morning ; consequently 
Mr. Wood took upon himself to relax the rigorous 
' interdict,' and allowed me to see some kind and 
sympathising friends ; and my soul expanded once 
more under the genial influences of a kindred 

At five o'clock on the afternoon of Sunday, June 1 , 
the officer of the guard announced that all was in 
readiness to depart for the boat, which had been de- 
tained for the purpose of conveying me to Fortress 
Monroe. A large number of persons had by this 
assembled to offer congratulations. The good news 
had reached our friends that a battle had been fought, 
and that skirmishing was still going on, at Seven Pines, 
near Eichmond,in which we had defeated the Yankees 
with heavy loss. This, of course, was the brightest 
augury that could have greeted me. 

The 'good-bye' was spoken, and many friends fol- 
lowed to the boat. Upon reaching it a guard was 
stationed around, who, with- bayonet in hand, re- 


pulsed every attempt of any but the prisoners to go 
on board, such being the orders. General Dix and 
suite being expected, the boat was detained for them 
several hours. During all that time, an eager 
crowd surrounded the approaches to the wharf, 
and, regardless of the angry and rude repulse of 
the military, continued to assemble. So far as the 
eye could reach handkerchiefs were waving, and the 
tearful eye and hearty ' God bless you ! ' which re- 
sponded from all sides, regardless of the bayonets 
of the tyrant, told that the hearts of the people 
of Maryland, however repressed and down-trodden, 
beat in unison with their brethren of the South. 

General Dix arriving about eight o'clock, the 
signal was given to weigh anchor, and I was fairly 
en route for the capital of the Confederacy. General 
Dix, after a few moments, came to pay his respects 
to me, and in very kind terms expressed ids con- | 
gratulations, &c. I was deeply chagrined at the 
rude conduct of the two women towards General 
Dix, and rebuked it by my manner as well as I 
could. The boat reached the wharf at Fortress 
Monroe at an early hour on the morning of June 2. 
General Dix and suite went ashore here for the pur- 
pose of relieving General Wool, who had made 
himself so obnoxious to the people of Norfolk and its 


vicinity, on account of his harshness and cruelty, 
;that the Abolition Government deemed it politic to 
replace him by one whose kind and conciliatory 
conduct had been deeply appreciated by the people 
of Baltimore. I regretted the exchange, for I did 
not wish the bitter pill of national degradation to be 
sugar-coated. The fiercer the rule, the more certain 
the retribution to follow. 

No orders had been given to provide refreshments, 
but the captain of the boat, who was a most gentle- 
manly person, prepared at his own cost a most ample 
luncheon, together with some iced champagne: and 
[ had the pleasure of proposing the health of Presi- 
dent Davis and the success of the Confederate cause 
mder the bristling guns of the enemy, and my toast 
Irunk by all present, several visitors having been 
idded to the number on board. The officer of the 
?uard behaved very well, and discreetly got out of 

Meanwhile an aide-de-camp of General Wool, 
iccompanied by the Provost-Marshal, Colonel Jones, 
jame on board to make arrangements for forwardino- 
ne on my journey. Colonel Jones asked me where 
1 1 wished to go. I replied, ' To the capital of the 
Confederacy, wherever that might be.' He told me 
| hat it was still Bichmond — asserting that that 


city had not fallen, as had been published at the 
North, but that it would be in then hands before I 

got there. I said I would take the chances, and 
only asked that no time might be lost. Colonel Gay 
fell into conversation with me, and I gleaned some 
very interesting facts from him. He was in a short 
time summoned away, and, I was told, put under 
arrest, for having been too communicative. About 
four o'clock in the afternoon I was called upon to be in 
readiness to go on board of the boat which had been 
chartered to take me to City Point, and inarched 
through the broiling sun to the place where she lay. 
Some time after the boat got under way, but made 
no great progress. Night coming on, and the river 
(the James River) being difficult of navigation-, the 
buoys having all been taken up by our people, the 
captain was afraid of running aground, so lay to 
until daylight. On the morning of the 3rd, about 
seven o'clock, we came in sight of the glorious 
achievements of the Virginia, the wreck of the 
Congress and other vessels destroyed by her. The 
Monitor lay down the stream at a short distance, 
and I had a good view of the low black ugly thing. 
At this point the captain again anchored, and an 
officer went off in a small boat to get instructions 
from the commander of the Monitor for landing me. 


jAfter an absence which seemed endless, a large-sized 
Iboat put off from her, in which I, with the other 
[prisoners, embarked, and were taken alongside of the 
Monitor, an officer from that boat coming on board, 
in command of the party to City Point. I was 
mnder intense excitement, for, after nearly ten weary 
months of imprisonment, I was in sight of the pro- 
mised land. In a short time we reached the shore, 
and my foot pressed the sacred soil. I had worn 
ton my shoulders from Fortress Monroe, in the folds 
of a shawl, a large battle-flag, which had been made 
by myself and other prisoners whilst in prison for 
General Beauregard. I felt strongly tempted to 
iunfold it and cast it to the breeze, as a parting 
penance to the Yankees ; but I remembered that the 
tsame means might be useful again. 

I was received by Colonel Ash and other Confede- 
rate officers, whose bold and soldierly bearing con- 
trasted most strikingly with the Vandal race whom I 
had seen, I hope, for the last time. 

I was conducted under escort of those e-entlemen 
to Petersburg, where I was received with every 
.demonstration of kindness and respect. General 
iiEansom, the Commander of the Department, came 
rto call upon me, and took charge of the arrange- 
,ments for my departure to Richmond, and sent 



Colonel Ash to escort me. I arrived in Richmond 
on the morning of the 4th, and was taken to the best 

r / hotel in the place, the Ballard House, where rooms 
had been prepared for me. General Winder, the 

X Commandant of Richmond, came immediately to call 
upon me, so as to dispense with the usual formality 
of my reporting to him. 

On the evening after my arrival our President did 
me the honour to call upon me, and his words of 
a greeting, ' But for you there would have been no 
battle of Bull Bun,' repaid me for all that I haul 
endured, even though it had been magnified tenfoldj 
And I shall ever remember that as the proudest 
moment of my whole life, to have received then 
tribute of praise from him who stands as the apostle 
of our country's liberty in the eyes of the civilised 

It would swell these pages far beyond my pre- 
scribed limits if I were to enter upon a description 
of the exciting scenes which met my eye on my 
arrival at Richmond. All was warlike preparation 
and stern defiance and resistance to the invader. 
The result of the battles before Richmond is well 
known, and exhibits to the world the capabilities 
of a people in the defence of their rights. 

The proud triumphant foe, with every advantage 


of numbers, &c, in his favour, who flaunted his 

'banner before our capital, threatening us with anni- 

iiiilation, was defeated and driven for shelter behind 

pis gunboats. The scene of then insolent triumph 

Was changed into a charnel-house, with the very air 

r:ank and pestiferous with the effluvia from their half- 

lecomposed bodies, where they lay as a warning 

monument to tyrants for all future time. This is a 

(fruitful theme for abler pens than mine. 

) My intention is, in the succeeding chapter, to touch 

ipon the causes which have effected the disruption 

rf the Federal compact between North and South, 

ts an exemplification of the evil consequences which 

low from usurpation. 

T 2 





In this, my concluding chapter, I shall touch upon m 
subject which properly does not come within my 
text, and I approach it with a gravity commensurate^ 
with its importance. 

It is not my purpose to elucidate the causes which 
have brought about the downfal of the American^ 
Republic. I do not pretend to the character of a 
publicist, or that of a philosophical historian. But 
as an attentive, and, I trust, impartial observer, I 
think I can correct some grave misconceptions of 
the events which have gained credence. 

In the first place, slavery, although the occa 
sion, was not the producing cause of the dissolution. 
The cord which bound the sections together warn 


strained beyond its strength, and, of course, snapped 
it the point where the fretting of the strands was 

The contest on the part of the North was for 
mprerne control, especially in relation to the fiscal 
iction of the Government. This object could not 
>e fully attained by a mere numerical majority. A 
najority of States was also necessary. To secure this 
najority, and thus complete the political ascendency 
i>f the North, the policy of ' no more Slave States ' 
vas formally set forth. 

A political party was formed, whose sole principle 

ifras the exclusion of slavery from the territories. 

[fhere was no moral sentiment involved in this. It 

»tid not alter the status of slavery. It made not a 

i.uman being free ; nor did it propose to do so. 

Sir,' said Mr. Webster in the Senate, ' this is not a 

horal question : it is a question of political power.' 

-iord Eussell has more recently corroborated this 

old assertion, by saying, that ' this icas a struggle 

■ n one side for supremacy, and on the other for 


On the other hand, the Southern States, struggling 

or equality, and seeking to maintain the equilibrium 

( f the Government, insisted upon the rights of their 

itizens to enter and live in the new territories upon 


terms of equality with the men north of Mason and 
Dixon's line. The) 7 contended for the right of ex- 
tending their social institutions, not to propagate! 
slavery — not to make a single human being a slave- 
that would otherwise be free — but simply to pre- 
serve the equilibrium of power between the twoi 

It is true that the anti-slavery fanaticism wasii 
brought to bear ; and it is also true that there fol- 
lowed a rancorous agitation which divided churches, 
rent asunder political parties, diminished and em- 
bittered the intercourse of society, and unfitted 
Congress for the performance of its constitutional! 
duties, and resulted in the estrangement of the 
Southern people from their Northern connection, h 
But this estrangement was not an active or stimulatjj 
ing motive, and manifested itself rather in the want 
of any general anxiety to restrain the movement foi 

Equally unfounded is the allegation that the 
secession of the South originated in the exasperatioi 
of a defeated party, and hostility to the successful 
candidate. The personal character of Mr. Lincoln, 
and his political opinions (except so far as therti 
represented that ' armed doctrine ' which menaced 
the equality of the Southern States, and was contrived 


.'or their oppression and degradation), had not formed 
ivith the Southern people the subject of either 
interest or enquiry. They knew that there were 
in the Constitution important checks which would 
urnish them with ample means of protecting thein- 
elves against the hostile purposes of the existing 
ncumbent, and even of repairing such violations of 
he fundamental law as might during his term of 
service be beyond their control. 

The stern protest of the Southern people, free 
[irom all party violence and recklessness, indicated 
i thorough knowledge of the extent and depth of 
:he grievances inflicted upon them ; and subsequent 
events have proved that they had both wisdom and 
caeroism adequate to evolve the proper remedy, and 
jfirmly to apply it. They regarded it as the first 
istep towards the overthrow of American representa- 
tive liberty. Even considering the Northern theory of 
government to be true — viz. that the Union was one 
consolidated Eepublic — it is essential that the cen- 
tral authority derive its powers and draw its force 
irom all the parts of the entire nation, so that by 
itheir reciprocal independence they can counteract 
ithe tendency of any one part to usurp the sovereignty 
hi the whole. 

When the North assumed the government over the 


South, as its own exclusive possession, it sought to 
establish an unmitigated tyranny. For liberty, true 
civil liberty, cannot exist where rights are on one side 
of a geographical line, and the power on the other. 

The Southern people are law-abiding, long-suffer- 
ing, tenacious in their attachments, and opposed even 
to a fault to innovations ; but where the alternative 
was presented of an overthrow of their political 
liberty, or a change in their Federal relations, they 
did not hesitate. 

To prove that they were fully justified, I will cite 
the testimony of ex-President Fillmore, a Northern 
statesman, never charged with Southern or pro- 
slavery sympathies : — 

• ' We see a political party presenting candidates for 
the Presidency and Vice-Presidency, selected for the 
first time from the Free States alone, with the avowed 
purpose of electing those candidates by the suffrage 
of one part of the Union only, to rule over the whole 
of the United States. Can it be possible that those 
who are engaged in such a measure can have 
seriously reflected upon the consequences which 
must inevitably follow in case of success? Can 
they have the madness or folly to believe that our 
Southern brethren would submit to be governed by 
such a chief magistrate ? ' 


After inveighing with great earnestness against a 
i course so monstrous, he adds: — 'These are serious 
J but practical questions, and in order to appreciate 
them fully, it is only necessary to turn the tables 
. upon ourselves. Suppose that the South, having a ma- 
jority of the electoral votes, should declare that they 
would only have slaveholders for Presidents, and 
should elect such by their exclusive suffrages to rule 
over us at the North. Do you think that we would 
submit to it ? (Cries of " No, never ! ") No, not for 
oa moment. And do you believe that our Southern 
brethren are less sensitive upon this subject than you, 
. or less jealous of their rights ? If you do, let me 
tell you that you are mistaken. And, therefore, 
you must see that, if this sectional party succeeds, it 
leads inevitably to the destruction of this beautiful 
fabric reared by our forefathers, consolidated by 
s their blood, and bequeathed to us as a priceless 
1 blessing.' 

9 I call especial attention to the following views, not 
s only on account of their intrinsic value, but from 
i the notoriety which attaches to the author as the 
1 interested advocate of the Lincoln Government. I 
i doubt if the annals of revolution furnish a more 
j flagrant instance of political apostasy. But I will 
appeal from 'Philip drunk to Philip sober.' 


The following is a portion of the letter by the 
Hon. E. J. Walker, entitled 'An Appeal for the 
Union,' setting forth the enormity of the pretensions 
of the Abolition party, and the consequences certain 
to succeed their assumption of the control of the 


Hon. Charles Shaler and others, Democratic Committee, 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

New Yokk : Tuesday, Sept. 30. 1856. 
We are approaching the close of a momentous struggle. 
On the one side is arrayed the Democratic party. It 
exists in every State, and over its united columns float 
the flag of the Constitution and of the Union. On the 
other side is found a sectional and geographical party, 
composed exclusively of the States of the North. The 
father of his country clearly foresaw the danger of such a 
party, and warned us against its fatal tendency, in his 
affectionate farewell address. But his solemn appeals and 
prophetic forebodings are swept from our memory, amid 
the wild uproar of geographical strife and sectional pre- 

For the first time in our history, such a geographical 
party is now formed. It is composed exclusively of the 
States of the North, and is arrayed in violent hostility 
against the Southern section of the Confederacy. It draws 


a line, clear and distinct, between the North and the South, 
and wars upon the people and institutions of the latter. 
It declares the institutions of the South so degraded and 
infamous, that Congress must exclude them from all that 
vast territory acquired by common blood and treasure, 
and which is the joint inheritance of all the States of the 
Union. Louisiana (including Kansas and Nebraska) was 
acquired by Jefferson and saved by Jackson. But the 
South are no longer held worthy to inherit any portion of 
that territory, acquired by the illustrious patriot of Vir- 
ginia, and saved by the immortal hero of Tennessee. 

So, too, with all the vast region acquired in the war 
with Mexico. Two gallant sons of Virginia, Scott and 
Taylor, were the leaders of those brilliant campaigns. 
The blood of the South was poured out in copious liba- 
tions, and mingled freely with the blood of the North, 
upon the many and well-fought fields of Mexico. Beside 
the gallant sons of the North an heroic regiment of South 
Carolina was swept by the deadly fire of the Mexican 
forces. Leader after leader, column after column, of that 
regiment fell mortally wounded, yet the survivors never 
wavered, and their arms were crowned with victory. Yet 
no son of Carolina, or of all the South, is held worthy to 
possess any, the smallest portion of all that territory 
acquired from Mexico. From the whole coast of the 
Pacific the South is already excluded, and now the plat- 
form of the Sectional party of the North is this : The 
universal Wilmot proviso — no slave territory, and no more 
Slave States north or south of the line of the Missouri 

There shall be no division of the common territory, but 


the North must have the whole. There are fifteen 
Southern and sixteen Northern States, seven organised 
Territories, and a vast region yet to be organised. The 
North must have all these, and all our future acquisitions. 
No matter what may be the voice or vote of the people of 
the Territory, or when becoming a State. You shall have 
no voice or vote in the matter, but the North, commanding 
a Northern majority in the Electoral College and in Con- 
gress, must have the whole. 

But it is said the North has the majority, and the South 
must submit. Has then the South no rights, or does she 
hold them merely at the mercy of a Northern majority? 
Has the South no claims on the justice of the North, and 
is it not unjust to exclude the South from all the common 
territory of the Union ? 

But this is not a mere question of justice, but of con- 
stitutional power. The Constitution ivas framed and 
ratified by the States, each voting and acting for itself 
alone. Thus we became ' United States ; ' a Confederacy, 
not a centred Republic — a Confederacy receiving all its 
power from the States, through an instrument called by 
them the Constitution, granting therein only certain 
specified powers, and reserving all others. It is clear, 
then, that Congress can exercise such powers only as are 
granted by the Constitution, and that all their laws, not 
based upon the delegated powers, are founded on usurpa- 
tion, and are absolute nullities. Now, the Constitution 
delegates no power to establish or abolish slavery in States 
or Territories. Such is the opinion of the South, and of 
a large minority (if not a majority) of the North. But, 
it is said, the North claims that such power in the Terri- 



'tories is granted to Congress by the Constitution. The 
South denies the existence of any such power. How is 
the question to be decided ? Most clearly, not by the 
Worth, or the South, but, as a disputed question of con- 
stitutional law, by the Supreme Court of the United 

Now, before the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, 
!the South proposed to carry that line to the Pacific, 
although it gave them but three degrees and a half on 
that ocean, leaving twelve degrees and a half to the North. 
That measure passed the Senate, but was voted down in 
the House by a Northern majority. Thus the North seized 
the whole coast on the Pacific, nearly equal to our entire 
front on the Atlantic. The South yielded, but uniformly 
thereafter most justly regarded the Missouri Compromise 
as repudiated by the North, rejected by their votes, and 
denounced by their addresses. The South next proposed 
to submit the disputed question of the power of Congress 
over slavery in the Territories to the adjudication of the 
Supreme Court of the United States. That measure, 
known as the Clayton Compromise, also passed the Senate, 
and was voted down in the House by a Northern majority. 
This most wise and patriotic measure submitted this 
question to the supreme judicial tribunal created by the 
•Constitution, clothed by it with full authority to expound 
ithat instrument, and to restrain Congress within the limits 
of the specific granted powers. 

But this peaceful and final arbitrament of this question, 
| proposed by the South, was rejected by the North. 

The so-called c Republican ' party does not adopt the 
restoration of the Missouri Compromise, but distinctly 
repudiates that measure, and declares there shall be no 


Slave Territory and no more Slave States, anywhere or 
under any circumstances, admitted to the Union, however 
clear or unanimous may be the will of the people of such 
State or Territory, or how far South the location. The 
very question, then, on which tins party rests is sectional : 
its candidates are sectional, and, anticipating no electoral 
vote from the South, it looks for success exclusively to the 
North. Nay, more : it assumes the exclusive right of the 
North to decide this question, and rejecting all division of 
the common territory by any line, it claims the whole for 
the North, discards the vote of the people of the Territory, 
either before or in becoming a State, and rejects also the 
arbitrament of the Supreme Court of the United States. 
It is conceded that, under the Constitution of the United 
States, slaves are property ; and whether they may or may 
not be held as such in the Territories is the great dis- 
puted question of constitutional law. It involves rights of 
property, and as such is peculiarly a judicial question. 
But the Supreme Court of the Union is to be superseded 
by the popular suffrage of the North, and these rights of 
property are thus to be decided. Such a doctrine is not 
only sectioned, aggressive, and belligerent, but agrarian 
and revolutionary. It is an overthrow of the Constitu- 
tion, of all its guarantees, and of every Conservative 
principle on which it is founded. Such a Government 
would not be a Constitutional Republic, but an elective 
despotism. But it is said the North are the majority, 
and such is their will. Sic volo, sic jubeo, stat pro 
ratione voluntas. But the votes and will of the French 
people made Napoleon the Great first their Consul, and 
then their Emperor ; and the votes and will of the French 
people made Napoleon III. first their President, and then 



jlothed him with the imperial purple. Such was the will 
)f the people ; but with us the Constitution is the supreme 
law, and so declared in that instrument, as framed and 
"atified by the people of each State. That Constitution, 
ifter withholding all but the specifically granted powers, 
distributes their exercise between the legislative, execu- 
ive, and judicial authorities. 

It rendered paramount to Congress the decree of the 
Supreme Court of the United States. It gave to that 
Dourt the power to expound the law, and especially that 
supreme law called the Constitution. But this Court is 
superseded by the refusal of the North to submit this 
question to its decision, and the substitution of the will 
pf a Northern majority. If constitutional guarantees and 
judicial decisions are thus to be overthrown through the 
7ote of the people by Congress, why not also in the States 
,by the State Legislatures, and the doctrine established 
;hat all rights of property in the Territories are held 
subject to the will of the people in the election of Con- 
gress ; and all rights of property in the States to the will 
}f the people in the election of State Legislatures? If 
the Constitution is to be disregarded, judicial tribunals 
i superseded, and questions involving rights of property 
lecided at the ballot-box by the people in one case, why 
lot in all others? The doctrine, if asked to be applied to 
ine species of property in Kansas to-day, may be extended 
So all property everywhere to-morrow. It may be ex- 
pended to lands, houses, rents, vessels, railroads, debts, 
stocks, and all other property, and may subject them all 
;o division or confiscation by the decision of the people at 
;he ballot-box. If it is right for the North, by the vote of 
die majority, to deprive the South, who are a minority, of 


all rights in the common territory of the Union, and to 
supersede judicial tribunals on disputed points of consti- 
tutional law involving - rights of property, will not the; 
same principle apply to the State Legislatures in each of 
the States, and the tenure of all property he decided 
by the people at each successive election ? 

The truth is, the Black ' Republican ' party is revo- 
lutionary and agrarian ; it involves principles which must 
strike down the tenure of all property in every State as 
well as in every Territory of the Union. It discards the 
peaceful arbitrament of the Supreme Court of the United 
States — the great Conservative feature of our institutions : 
it overthrows the Constitution and all its guarantees, and 
substitutes in their place an elective despotism, by which 
a majority of the people may abolish, divide, or confiscate 
all property at each successive election. It is said the 
majority of this tribunal are from the South, and therefore 
the North cannot trust them with the decision of this great 
constitutional question. It is but a majority of one, and 
that one the venerable Chief Justice, born and ever re- 
siding in the most conservative of all the States of the 
South, bordering upon the North, with but very few 
slaves, from which the Institution of Slavery is rapidly 
disappearing ; with its great river, the Susquehanna, leading 
into the heart of Pennsylvania and traversing large por- 
tions of the State of New York ; a State, three-fourths of 
whose trade and intercourse, hy bays and rivers, by railroads 
and canals, is with the Free States of this Confederacy. 

But if such a tribunal cannot be trusted, in executing 
the functions assigned to it by the Constitution, because it 
numbers from the South a majority of one, performing its 
high duties after full argument upon both sides, deep inves- 


>■; ligation and research, calm and deliberate, uninfluenced 

It so far as humanity can be by passion or prejudice, en- 
lightened and incorruptible, far surpassing any other judi- 
cial tribunal upon earth for its talents, wisdom, and legal 
}1 knowledge — familiar with the Constitution, accustomed for 
many years to close examination of all its provisions, and 
to hear them constantly discussed on both sides by the 
great and distinguished jurists of our country — if such a 
tribunal cannot be trusted, because it holds accidentally at 
this time a majority of one from the South, can such a 
\ question be more wisely referred to the popular suffrage, 
where the North has a majority of fifty-four in the House 
of Eepresentatives, and fifty-six in the Electoral College, 
^and that majority constantly and rapidly augmenting? 
3 ' Will this controversy be more wisely decided by the people 
3 of the North, a single geographical section, inflamed by 
3 sectional passion and prejudice, impelled by newspaper 
I editors, and hustings orators, and political priests, with or 
: ' without knowledge, with or without patriotism, with or 
without sincere religion, with or without fanaticism, with 
] ' or without mature investigation, with or without selfish 
aspirations? Day by day, from the press, the hustings, 
{' the bookstore, the pulpit, the lecture-room, the school- 
■• house, the theatre, the library, the author's closet, the 
painter's brush, and the power of song, the North now is, 
'; and long has been, trained and educated to hate the South, 
J to despise their institutions, to trample upon their rights, 
to lacerate their feelings, to calumniate their character, to 
forget all their noble deeds in war and in peace, and all 
their generous qualities and high intellectual endowments, 
and to dwell only upon their faults, which are the lot of 
our common humanity. 



Nor is this all. A direct appeal is constantly made to 
the local interests of the North, to the spirit of avarice 
and love of power and domination, which unfortunately 
exist, more or less, in every age and country ; and the 
North are told that it is their interest to monopolise for 
ever, for themselves and their children, the whole of the 
common territory of the Union. Under these circum- 
stances, is the popular suffrage of the North that calm, 
wise, enlightened, unprejudiced, disinterested tribunal to 
which should be assigned the decision of the great ques- 
tion involved in this controversy ? In a matter involving 
the rights, interests, and property of the South, the North 
is asked to be the sole judge in its own case, and to decide 
this matter in its own favour, by its own exclusive suf- 
frage. No man respects popular suffrage more than 
myself: universal suffrage in this country, on all merely 
political questions, within the limits of the Constitution. 
But on judicial questions, involving rights of property of 
incalculable value, our fathers, in founding the Govern- 
ment, for the welfare and safety of all, discarded the 
French idea of their elective despotism of 1852, or of their 
popular assemblage of 1789, unrestrained by conservative 
checks or constitutional guarantees, and deciding through 
the popular vote upon rights of property. 

Division and confiscation, followed by sack, by plunder, 
and the guillotine, were there the inevitable consequence ; 
and similar doctrines would soon produce here the same 
dreadful catastrophe. No man respects the press and the 
pulpit more than myself. In discharging their appropriate 
functions they are the highest vocations upon earth, the 
one for time, the other for eternity. No one deems 
more useful than myself addresses to the people from the 


hustings by able orators on political questions. But judi- 
' cial questions, involving rights of property, requiring im- 
partial investigation, should not be decided by popular 
suffrage, and especially when, as in this case, the suffrage 
of one section of the Union, incited by interest, passion, 
or prejudice, is asked to decide for itself, and in its own 
favour, by its own exclusive electoral vote, against another 
great section of the Confederacy. 

But this so-called e Eepublican ' platform is not only 
revolutionary and agrarian, but by forming a sectional and 
geographical party, arraying the North against the South, 
and assailing the bulwarks of the Constitution, it exposes 
the Union to imminent peril. It is the Constitution that 
makes the Union, and the subversion of the Constitution 
is the overthrow of the Union. It is revolution, because 
it changes in fact our form of government. The parch- 
ment upon which the Constitution is written may still 
remain, the empty forms may still be administered, but 
even these will soon follow, until not a fragment remains 
of the Government formed by the patriots and sages of the 
Eevolution. If there are those that believe that the 
Union can long be preserved, when the Constitution shall 
have been subverted, and the supreme judicial tribunal of 
the Union expunged or obliterated, their delusive hopes, 
their dreams of dominion and power, will soon vanish. 
We have now not only a sectional and geographical party, 
based upon a sectional issue, and realising all the fears 
of the illustrious Washington, but we have a party advo- 
cating doctrines agrarian and revolutionary, subjecting 
all property to division or confiscation, and expunging 
the supreme judicial tribunal. I indulge in no menaces 

against the Union. I make no predictions on a subject of 

z 2 


such fearful import. But this I can say, that the South 
will not and ought not to submit to degradation ; they tvill 
not be despoiled by the North of all rights in the common 
territory ; they will not surrender their constitutional 
guarantees ; they love the Union, but it is the Union of 
the Constitution, the union of equals with equals, and not 
of sovereign States of the North with subject States — say- 
rather, conquered provinces of the South. Eather than 
submit to this, they will adopt the last alternative — Sepa- 
ration — and will then exclaim : — 

Thy spirit, Independence, let me share, 
Lord of the Lion heart and Eagle eye : 
Thy steps I '11 follow with my bosom bare, 

Nor heed the storm that lowers along the sky. 

Indeed, it is a most remarkable fact, that while in their 
native Africa the race has made no progress, while in the 
mock Eepublic of Hayti or brutal despotism of Soulouque, 
in Jamaica and the British West Indies, the emancipated 
slaves have retrograded to barbarism, while even in our 
own North the free black race is generally found in the 
gaols, or poor-houses, or hospitals, the asylums of the deaf 
and dumb, the blind or insane, or in pestilent alleys or 
cellars, amid scenes of destitution and infamy, yet in 
Africa alone, a colony of emancipated slaves, born and 
raised in the much-abused South, and trained and manu- 
mitted by Southern masters, we find the only hope of the 
African race, and the only success they have ever achieved 
out of bondage. 

When anyone ventures to admonish the people of the 
danger of sectional or geographical parties, he is now de- 
nounced as a traitor or dis unionist. Washington, Jefferson, 


Madison, Monroe, Franklin, Hamilton, Jackson, Clay, 
and Webster, all warned the people of the danger to the 
Union of sectional and geographical parties. But we who 
repeat these warnings are the true friends of the Union ; 
and those who disregard these admonitions, and form sec- 
tional and geographical parties, are the enemies of the 
Constitution and the Union. 

No, my countrymen, if, in the madness of sectional 
passions and geographical prejudice, you overthrow the 
Constitution framed by Washington and the sages of the 
Eevolution, you can never provide adequate substitutes. 
Those who have achieved our country's ruin can never 
regather the scattered fragments of the Constitution, and 
rebuild the sacred edifice. No, it will be war, civil 
war, of all others the most sanguinary and ferocious. 
The line which separates the North from the South will 
be known in all Iristory as the line of blood. It will be 
marked on either side by frowning fortresses, by opposing 
batteries, by gleaming sabres, by bristling bayonets, by the 
tramp of contending armies, by towns and cities sacked 
and pillaged, by dwellings given to the flames, and fields 
laid waste and desolate. No mortal hand can lift the veil 
which conceals the unspeakable disasters of such a conflict. 
No prophet vision can penetrate the dark abyss of such a 
catastrophe. It will be a second fall of maDkind, and 
while we shall be performing here the bloody drama of a 
nation's suicide, from the thrones of Europe will arise the 
exulting shouts of despots, and upon their gloomy banners 
shall be inscribed, as they believe never to be effaced, their 

Man is incapable of self-government. 


Nor let it be supposed by the North that superior 
numbers will give them the victory over the South, or 
exempt them from the calamities of such a conflict. The 
financial and industrial ruin of the North would be great 
and overwhelming. The annual products of the South 
have now reached at least thirteen hundred millions of 
dollars, and a' much larger portion of this is surplus for 
export than in the North. Thus the total exports abroad 
of the whole country, of our own products and manufac- 
tures (excluding specie), for the year ending 30th June, 
1855, were $192,751,000, of which there were from the 
North $67,626,000, and from the South $125,124,000, 
cotton alone being $88,143,000, thus showing the export 
of the South nearly double that of the North. But in 
the table of these Northern exports is $5,857,000 of cotton 
piece goods. Now these were made out of 40,000 bales 
of Southern cotton, costing (at $50 a bale) $2,000,000, 
furnished by the South to the North, to be deducted 
from the Northern and added to the Southern export, 
making a difference in this article alone in favour of the 
South of $4,000,000. 

In the same manner, in the table of Northern exports, 
are found spirits of molasses, $1,448,000; manufactured 
tobacco, $1,486,000 ; spirits of turpentine, $1,137,000 ; and 
a vast number of other articles, of which the raw materials 
are chiefly from the South, amounting (including cotton) 
to at least $10,000,000, to be deducted from the Northern 
and added to the Southern export, making the former 
$57,626,000, and the latter $135,124,000, or vastly more 
than double. Thus it is that the South furnish vastly more 
than double those exports which constitute the basis of 
our exchange and commerce, which build up our com- 


mercial marine (the cradle of our navy), and employ our 
shipping, more than doubling our tonnage, and enabling 
us ultimately to command the commerce of the world. 

So also as to the articles not exported abroad. Those of 
the South being almost exclusively raw products, and those 
of the North, to a great extent, manufactures, the raw 
materials furnished by the South to the North must be 
deducted from the Northern product, and added to that of 
the South. 

The population of the Free States at the last census was 
13,434,922, and that of the South, 9,664,656. The annual 
products of the South now reach at least #1,300,000,000, 
I which furnish the means of employment to more than 
three millions of the people of the North. This arises in 
various ways. In supplying so vast a portion of the 
freight and passengers for transportation abroad and coast- 
wise, on the ocean, lakes, bays, and rivers, railroads and 
canals, and which bring back the return cargoes, the timber 
must be cut, the iron and other materials furnished, the 
vehicles of commerce built, the railroads and engines con- 
structed, the crews and hands employed, the shipments and 
; ; reshipments made, the stores occupied, the merchandise 
\i sold, furnishing profit, employment, and wages to thousands 
I at the North. Then, too, the farmers, workmen, and other 
| parties of the North and North-west, in supplying manufac- 
h tures and provisions to the South, increase the number to 
millions. Indeed, it would be impossible to enumerate 
jail the multiplied ramifications of the business of the 
! North connected with the South that give employment to 
Northern capital and Northern labour. 

Now, by a dissolution of the Union and civil war, there 
would be total non-intercourse between the North and the 


South, an absolute prohibition of all imports or exports, 
which would necessarily throw the trade of the South into 
other channels. This, we have seen, would throw out of 
employment more than three millions of the people of the 
North, including the families connected with them, most 
of whom woidd be reduced to absolute indigence. It would 
not be the case with them of low profits, low compensation 
or salaries, or low wages, but of none, because the business 
that gave them employment would have ceased. As these 
millions, thus reduced to want, would be unable as hereto- 
fore to make their former purchases, many thousands 
more in the North would, to a vast extent, lose their busi- 
ness and employment, and thus extend the disaster so as 
to affect most injuriously the whole people of the North. 

The northern railroads, vessels, and steamers, would 
lose their freight and passengers passing to and from the 
South ; the Northern stores connected with this trade 
would be closed, the Northern vessels lie idle at the 
wharves, the Northern manufactures no longer reach the 
markets of the South, nor the cotton be furnished in 
return ; the shipyards and engine-works thus employed 
would be discontinued ; the Northern farms would cease to 
supply breadstuffs and provisions to the South — these they 
would raise themselves at home, in lieu of that portion of 
their cotton heretofore supplied to the Northern market. 
Their own exports would be shipped abroad in their own 
or foreign vessels, from their own ports ; and to the same 
points, in the same manner, would be brought back the 
return cargoes. Indeed, such a cessation of business, of 
intercourse, of wages and employment, produced by civil 
war between the North and the South, would cause here 
a perfect paralysis. 



Commerce would perish ; credit would decay; all pro- 
perty, real and personal, would rapidly depreciate in value; 
good debts to banks and others Avould become worthless ; 
wages or salaries would cease or decline ; stocks would 
sink to a nominal value; confidence would vanish; all 
available means would take the form of specie, which 
would be hoarded and seek its usual hiding-places as in 
all times of convulsion. To crown the disaster, more than 

- three millions of people at the North, receiving no wages 
or employment, must live. They must have houses, food, 

i' and raiment. But how to be obtained ? Would it be by 
the new agrarian doctrine of submitting rights of property 
to the decision of the ballot-box ? Would it be by divi- 

', sion and confiscation ? Would the anti-rent doctrine 
become universal ? or is this too tedious a process ? 

: Would riots prevail ? Would plunder and pillage close 
the disaster ? But crimes, tumults, taxes, misery, deaths, 
government, state, city, and county debts, at enormous 
rates of interest, and emigration of persons and capital to 
other countries, would all increase, while liberty itself would 
expire in the conflict, and the bayonet, as in Europe, take 
the place of the ballot-box. The gaols and poor-houses 
would be multiplied, sieges and battles prevail, and thou- 
sands perish in fraternal strife. The taxes to support 
those who could not support themselves, and to maintain 
large and costly armies in the field, would be incalculable. 
Look at Europe. Her armies, now numbering nearly 
four millions of men (greater than our whole voting 
population), trample down the rights and interests of the 
people and consume their substance, while European 
government debts have nearly reached ten thousand 
millions of dollars. But at least they have suppressed 


the guillotine, and possess what they call Law and Order. 
But would we have even these, until military usurpation 
had closed the drama of blood and violence, and written 
the last sad epitaph of human liberty? The picture is 
darkly shadowed, but it is by the pencil of truth, and k 
the gloomy reality would be darker still. My soul shrinks [ r 
from the contemplation of scenes like these, and my pen 
would refuse to perform its office in describing them, if a 
solemn sense of duty did not compel me to give these 
warnings, ere it is too late, and exert all my feeble efforts 
to prevent the ruin of my country. Now, these efforts 
may possibly accomplish something; after the election, 
my humble voice would be unheard or unheeded in the 
tempest of passion that would sweep the country. 

Let those of the North who tell you there is no danger 
shrink from the fearful responsibility they have assumed 
ere the evil day shall come upon us. They tell us there 
is no danger — that they have heard this cry before, of 
danger to the Union — but there is no peril. None in 
1820, none in 1833, none in 1850, and the warnings of 
Washington were a delusion. Why, then, did they call 
Henry Clay the great pacificator, and announce that thrice 
he had saved his country ? How saved he the Union, if 
it never was in danger ? But it was imperilled, and it 
was saved by measures adopted by the votes of the North 
and the South. But now the union betiveen the North 
and the South, so far as the votes for the sectional candi- 
dates of the so-called ' Republican ' party are concerned, 
is already dissolved ; for no man anticipates a solitary 
electoral vote for those candidates in any State of the 
South, but this controversy is to be settled exclusively in 


•vour of and by the exclusive vote of the North ; and 
lie rights, wishes, and interests of the South are to be 
holly disregarded. 

f Beware, my countrymen, ere it is too late, how you 
lopt these perilous counsels. Give no vote that puts the 
nion in the slightest peril — make no such fearful expe- 
ment. Friends of the Union, of all parties, our enemies 
ive combined ; they have fused, and under their united 
forts, the pillars of the Constitution and of the Union 
•e rocking to their base, and we may have assembled 
l November next for the last time under our country's 
; ig, and as citizens of a common Union. The enemies of 
le Union have united, and why should we be separated ? 
he flag of the North 'American' party, as they call 
lemselves, is trailing in the dust, and is replaced by the 
lack ' Eepublican ' standard. Your leaders have surren- 
3red the American flag and taken in exchange the African 
inner. They have capitulated at discretion ; they have 
irrendered your candidates and principles, and demand 
mr votes for the candidates and platform of the Black 
Republican' party. Friends of the Union, come and unite 
ith us to save the Union ! Come, without any surrender of 
rinciple on your part or ours, to the rescue of our country, 
ome, my brother, give me your hand ; let us save the 
Duntry first, and then settle, at some future election, the 
iministrative measures about which we now differ. Come, 
1 the name of our common country, now in the agony of 
n approaching convulsion ! Come, in the name of the 
onstitution and of the Union, now subjected to imminent 
eril ! Come, in memory of the commingled blood of the 
r orth and the South, poured out on the battle-fields of 



the Eevolution ! Come, in the name of the liberties of the 
world, which would be crushed by the fall of the American |Q 
Union ! 

Eespectfully, your fellow-citizen, 

E. J. Walker. 

As my object is to give a simple record of events, 
I do not propose to attempt the vindication of the 
Institution which has been the fruitful theme of 
reproach and denunciation amongst the opponents 
of Southern independence. 

The English writers who discuss this subject seem 
to confine themselves to the consideration of the |c 
abstract principle of slavery, and entirely overlook \j t 
the facts and circumstances of the case. Few 
institutions of government or society could stand 
such a test. 

If the question were simply whether it would not 
be better for the South to have four millions of 
intelligent, industrious, and valiant freemen in the |\ 
place of four millions of African slaves, it would be 
neither so delicate nor difficult of solution. But the 
question which taxes the practical statesmanship and 
philanthropy of the Southern people is of a far 
graver character. It is this. Two races — one civi- 
lised, the other barbarous — being locally intermin- 
gled, what does the good of society require — the 


eedom or servitude of the barbarous race ? The 
puth believe that the freedom of the blacks, under 

ich circumstances, would result certainly in their 
nal extermination, and that servitude is best adapted 
p their intellectual and moral condition. 
i^ The antagonism of race is as fixed and immutable 
fa any other law of nature, and has been exemplified 
li the history of the world wherever the opposing 
dements have come in conflict. The North American 
adians were a race of warriors, with far higher 

tellectual capabilities than the negro, and not 
Siheriting that unutterable prejudice against amalga- 
mation which exists against the negro. But at the 
lime time, there being;; no motive of interest in the 
Prperior race to protect them, they have been driven 
: :, om their hunting-grounds, which at no distant 
period embraced half of the North American con- 
tinent, to a few acres on the confines of civilisation, 
allien they inhabit by the sufferance of the dominant 

| In support of the usages of civilisation in favour 
If this law of race, I can cite an example which 
koines within my own immediate knowledge, and 
-Vhich is uninfluenced by the fanaticism and dema- 
-ogism which attach to the negro question. In 
California, there are between sixty and seventy 




thousand Chinese, being about one-seventh of the 
whole population. They are a civilised, industrious, 
and most useful people. Yet they cannot be 
naturalised, cannot bear witness in court, cannot 
intermarry with the white race, or exercise a single 
right of citizenship, except pay taxes. a 

The wisdom of the policy of the South in regard 
to this inherited responsibility is abundantly vindicated 
by the very aspect which the Institution of Slavery 
now presents to the world. 

For thirty years its enemies have unceasingly 
assailed it by every agency of mind and heart. The 
pulpit, the press, hostile legislation, secret societies, 
armed robbers, have all been employed to excite 
discontent and insurrection in the Southern States. 

Their agitations have split the aspiring structure 
of the American Government from 'turret to founda- 
tion-stone.' They have caused the most bloody and 
implacable war known to modern history ; and yet 
the Institution of Slavery survives it all, firm and 

Nowhere on earth, not even in happy England, 
rejoicing in peace, does there exist between the 
various classes of society such harmony, such sym- 
pathy, as the South exhibits in the midst of her 
trials. Surely the condition of such a social com- 


aionwealth must rest upon the solid foundation 
allien supports all civil institutions — the good of the 
whole State. 

I But we are asked, ' Do not your statutes withhold 

Buy legal enforcement to the marriage relations 

imongst slaves ? ' I beg my readers to have this 

bbjection properly stated. It should be borne in 

[mind that we have not taken from them any rights 

which they had ever recognised or conferred among 

themselves. The race, as we found it, was destitute 

of any such institution, or even the knowledge of it. 

^Nevertheless, it is true that our laws are justly 

^chargeable with the reproach of not having secured 

ito them this blessing of civilisation. But what the 

law has failed to do, religion and usage have effected. 

'The institution of marriage does exist anions slaves, 

and is encouraged and protected by their owners. 

The statesmen of the South, when free from the 

;i embarrassment of their fanatical enemies, should lose 

no time in protecting all the domestic ties by laws 

forbidding the separation of families. That such 

i legislation is not inconsistent with the Institution is 

'proved by the fact that some of the South- Western 

States have long since removed this evil by statutory 

j enactments. 

In point of fact, there is a greater amount of sepa- 


ration in families and rending of domestic ties during 
one year in the United Kingdom of England, Scot- 
land, and Ireland, than takes place in ten years 
amc lg the negroes of the South. 

The South, however, does not feel herself called 
upon to vindicate this or any other of her institutions 
before the bar of the world ; and, I think, English 
philanthropists may safely leave to Southern states- 
men the removal of such abuses as cling to this in 
common with all other human institutions. Amelio- 
rations will continue to be adopted as this class of 
Southern society increases in its fitness to receive I 
and enjoy them. 

In the meantime I commend to the Abolition 
agitators of Great Britain the policy in which their 
puissant Government has taken refuge — Non-inter- 





1 ill 


HHKlim i!